It's time to make this unexpected zucchini cocktail from Bar Manager Seth Freidus of the newly opened Waypoint Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachussets.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is on its last legs. Before we know it, there will be a chill in the air, the leaves will be changing and everyone will be talking about apples and pumpkin-spiced-this-or-that. However, lucky for us, September is when summer really decides to show off: The weather is hot, the flowers are in bloom and amazing produce is ripe and overflowing. It’s also, coincidentally, the best time to make this vibrantly green, showstopper of a cocktail from Seth Freidus, the Bar Manager at chef Michael Scelfo’s super-popular Alden & Harlow and the newly opened Waypoint in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Mediterranean-inspired drink combines zucchini with sugar, a big handful of fresh basil and chopped chives. “The chives are what really tie this purée together,” says Freidus. “They give it a super fresh pop, like salt and pepper.” This recipe makes enough Zucchini Basil-Chive Purée for 24 cocktails, but do not feel like it’s limited to this cocktail: freeze it in ice cube trays for a Gin & Tonic or stir into lemonade. “It also makes a great non-alcoholic drink,” says Freidus. “I like to serve a few ounces over ice and then top with tonic water and a lemon wedge. So refreshing.” Make this drink now and toast to summer’s last hoorah!
Total 5 min; Makes 1 cocktail
1.5 ounces gin
1 ounce Zucchini Basil-Chive Purée (Recipe follows)
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ ounce fino sherry (See note)
¼ ounce Honey Syrup (Recipe follows)
Tonic water, preferably Fever Tree
Basil leaf, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the gin, Zucchini Basil-Chive purée, lemon juice, sherry and honey syrup and shake vigorously. Double strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with the tonic water. Garnish the cocktail with a basil leaf and serve immediately.
NOTE Fino sherry is a light, dry fortified white wine from Jerez de la Frontera in the Andalusia region of southern Spain. Find it at your local wine shop or at astorwines.com.
Zucchini Basil-Chive Purée
Total 10 min; Makes 3 cups/24 cocktails
2 cups chopped zucchini and/or summer squash
1 cup sugar
½ cup packed basil leaves
½ cup packed chopped chive
In a blender, puree all of the ingredients with 1 cup of water until very smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on the solids; discard the solids. Refrigerate the zucchini puree until ready to use.
Total 5 min plus cooling time; Makes 1 cup
1 cup Clover honey
In a small saucepan, whisk the honey with 1 cup of water. Simmer until the honey has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to use.
Cocktail by Seth Freidus, Bar Manager of Waypoint and Alden & Harlow in Cambridge, Massachusetts