This super summery cocktail from Jessie Smyth, bar director at Genever in L.A.’s historic Filipinotown, combines fresh and briny California gin, muddled kumquats, and Champagne cordial, and a pinch of salt for drink that tastes like a sunny day at the beach.
Add kumquats, a pinch of Maldon Salt, and Gray Whale Gin to small shaking tin and muddle, releasing the oils from the kumquat skin and pressing out the juice. If kumquats are not available, use 1 small mandarin, or 1-2 key limes, or 1/2 a Meyer lemon or even 2-3 calamansi––any type of floral citrus that isn’t too sour or too sweet will work nicely.
Once muddled, add .75 oz Champagne Cordial and .5 oz Champagne Vinegar, and fill shaker with ice. Shake hard for about 10 seconds then strain into a rocks glass.
Add ice and garnish with a slice of Kumquat (or whatever citrus you used) and some rosemary sprigs. Be sure to smack the rosemary on the side of the glass to release the beautiful fragrance! Edible flowers optional. Enjoy!
*To make Champagne Cordial: Combine equal parts champagne and sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium-low until incorporated. Allow to chill before use. Can be stored for up to 1 month in the fridge. Fresh or flat champagne, prosecco, or any other sparkling wine work equally well!