A few years ago we took a summer trip up to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where we visited the little town of Silver Plume. It was here we got the chance to check out a little bitters and syrup company called Dram Apothecary and their tasting room bar. It was at this tasting room that we first got to try a flavor in a cocktail that we totally didn’t expect, pine. This Mountain Pine Gin and Tonic uses Dram’s Pine Syrup to bring a piney fresh twist to a classic cocktail.
Pine is one of those flavors that you don’t usually find used in cuisine, but it is a flavor that is gaining popularity in cocktail circles as it provides a unique green flavor that can add a refreshing edge to all kinds of mixed drinks. While most people think of the obnoxious fake pine scent of a pine cleaner, but a good pine syrup like the one from Dram Apothecary is more nuanced and subtle like the smell of a walk in the pine forests of the Rocky Mountains.
Our first experience with pine in a cocktail was in Dram’s Alpine Manhattan, a cocktail that combined the vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon with the herbal sweetness of the pine syrup.The Alpine Manhattan had that classic balance of booze and sweet that you look for in a Manhattan, but with a nice sweet piney finish that definitely brings a sense of the fresh piney woods of the mountains. We both liked the unique flavor of pine and we bought a bottle of pine syrup to bring the flavor of the mountains home with us!
While we loved sipping the Alpine Manhattan, we are cocktail bloggers so we are always looking out for other drinks to try and share with our readers. We have been a on a bit of a gin and tonic kick recently (see our Strawberry Limeade Gin and Tonic which we are obsessed with) and we had a thought that the juniper and citrus notes of the gin would work really well the pine. We decided to try a little mixology and see where our experimentation would take us.
We started out with a basic gin and tonic, using a nice London Dry gin that had a lot of citrus and juniper flavors and mixing in the pine syrup and tonic. While it was good, the evergreen flavor was a little intense. The evergreen flavor (juniper and pine) is sometimes what turns people off of gin, but thankfully there is a lot more to gin these days than your grandfather’s old gin!
We decided to go with a gin that was a little less juniper forward, so we turned to a favorite of ours, Hendrick’s Gin, which is a gin that is more floral forward, with a rose and cucumber flavor and a more subtle juniper flavor. The crisp Hendrick’s Gin and the sweet pine syrup combined to create a nice blend of floral, citrus and alpine notes that was really refreshing, especially when combined with a good quality tonic like Fever Tree. A splash of lemon brightened up the citrus notes flavor and pulls out some of the botanicals of the tonic and pine syrup.
We decided to dress the Mountain Pine Gin and Tonic up a bit as it can look a bit plain as almost everything in it is perfectly clear, so we wanted something that would add a little color. What better thing to add to a pine drink than some actual pine? We decided to freeze some fresh pine clippings into some large ice cubes, which really makes for a cool looking addition to the cocktail!
The Mountain Pine Gin and Tonic is a really refreshing cocktail, that can be perfect in the middle of winter or in the heat of summer! Pine is obviously perfect for the winter, especially around the Holidays when pine is used in just about everything! It is also perfect for the summer when those of us from the plains start dreaming about escaping to the cool pine forests of the Rockies! The Mountain Pine Gin and Tonic works for both, so get some pine syrup in your home bar and start sipping away! Cheers!
- 2 oz Hendrick's Gin
- .5 oz Dram Apothecary Pine Syrup
- 1/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 4 oz Tonic
- Add ice to a glass.
- Add Gin, Pine Syrup and lemon juice.
- Top with Tonic.