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Quick Sips: Make It Rain with an April Showers Cocktail

Posted by Man Crates on

When the calendar flips over to April (or you swipe left on March), there’s a feeling of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation. The temperature finally begins to warm, nature wakes up, things begin to bloom and the sun begins to shine. Most importantly, it’s when anyone who’s had to suffer through a cold Winter can start drinking outside. Yup, it’s time for spring cocktails. In that spirit, we present our Quick Sips for a drink appropriately named April Showers.

If April showers come your way…

...drink ‘em! While April showers are notorious for resulting in May flowers, the cocktail version has been known to result in sweet refreshment. And it also comes with a little flower action, so there you go.

April Showers

What to use

2 oz. lavender-infused gin
1 oz. simple syrup
1 tsp. honey
1 oz. lemon juice
Fresh lavender sprigs, flowers or lemon for garnish
Simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

How to use it

To make simple syrup, combine sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add gin and honey to a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve the honey. Add the rest of the ingredients to the shaker, fill it with ice and shake. Garnish with a sprig of lavender or flower or lemon.

Lessons in lavender

Now that you’re putting lavender in your drink, you can see that this plant is way more than just toilet potpourri. Want to learn more about lavender? Of course you do.

  • Lavender was likely introduced by the Romans to Britain and was used medicinally in the Middle Ages.
  • Lavender was thought to ward off bedbugs so was sewn into sheets.
  • During the Black Plague, lavender oil and alcohol were taken to ward off the disease, so an April Showers cocktail will also, in theory, help keep the plague away. Hurrah.
  • Not to harp on about the Black Plague, but lavender bunches were sold in the streets during it to help mask the, um, smell.
  • Lavender makes for some yummy honey.
  • Lavender can fix your brain! Well, it’s good for headaches. Outside of that, we make no promises.

You had us a gin

We saved the best lesson for last. Gin. Some call it the quintessential cocktail spirit and who are we to argue? Let’s find out more about this aromatic drink.

First, the dry facts. Gin is a neutral grain spirit with a predominant juniper flavor. All gins must have juniper, but there’s no amount required by law, it just has to have a predominant flavor of juniper. There are four basic styles of gin:

London Gin gets its juniper flavor from neutral spirits redistilled with botanicals and has nothing added after that process

Dutch Genever starts with a malted grain mash

Old Tom is sweeter due to sugar being added to the redistillation process

Compound Gin is flavored with essences that are added to neutral grain spirits with no redistillation

Now the more unusual facts...

  • Despite seeming to be the most English of beverages, gin actually hails from Holland. The English found out about it when they were fighting the 30 Years’ War there—they saw Dutch soldiers drinking it to boost morale (this is where the term “Dutch Courage” comes from).
  • The Philippines drinks the most gin, with the US coming in second for consumption (USA! USA!).
  • The gimlet was created by the Royal Navy to fight scurvy. Much obliged, sailors.
  • Not all London gin is from London. Gin doesn’t have geographical restrictions (like scotch or tequila, for example), so only a few London dry gins are made in the city.
  • Gin is the base for more cocktails than any other spirit. Clearly gin has it going on.
  • Gin is not meant to be drunk solo. It needs to be mixed with other ingredients to really fly. Fly, gin! Fly!
  • A good bottle of gin is one of the best bar gifts for men. It makes great cocktails and can help prevent scurvy. What more do you need?

Cool refreshment is in the forecast

Now invite some friends over, mix up a batch of April Showers and share your new knowledge of fascinating facts about lavender and gin as you toss these refreshers back. Cheers.