1 cup mineral or filtered tap water
1 cup raw sugar
2 Tbsp Noga N17
Optional but recommended, 4 thin slices of fresh ginger
3 ounces gin
1 1/2 ounces Noga syrup (2 ounces if you prefer your cocktails on the sweeter side)
1 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces sweet vermouth
A couple dashes of Angostura bitters
2 (2" pieces) of lemon zest
To prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan bring one cup of water to a boil and then drop to a simmer, add the sugar, Noga, and ginger (if using) and stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain through a coffee filter and store in a clean bottle. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine all ingredients except the garnish and seltzer and shake gently until chilled. Divide between two Collins glasses filled with fresh ice and fill with seltzer. Stir each gently with a straw and garnish with the lemon zest.
Variations & Ideas:
• Sub equal parts of kirsch and Benedictine for the vermouth for a more floral and savory variation. Or try some Portuguese Ginja.
• Mix 1/2 ounce Noga syrup with 1 ounce of lemon juice and 2 ounces of cognac, shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice for a Noga Cognac Sour. Garnish with a lemon slice.
• Use the same syrup to make a Citronelle Cocktail
For a non-alcoholic beverage: muddle a few juniper berries is a cocktail shaker with 3/4 of an ounce of Noga syrup, 3 ounces of chilled seltzer, a small pinch of salt, 1 1/2 ounces of fresh lemon juice, and a 1/2 ounce of pomegranate molasses. Fill with ice and shake to chill, then strain into collins glasses over fresh ice and top with either more seltzer or tonic water.
Other ways to use the Noga syrup:
• Rub a whole chicken with a bit of Noga syrup, sea salt, Aleppo pepper, and olive oil before roasting
• Add a touch to dumpling dipping sauce for a mellow sweetness, especially great with shrimp siu mai or har gow
• Use it to make knafeh
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