“What on Earth is a South Side?” You may be wondering. Well, it’s a kind of gin gimlet typically made by muddling mint in with the simple syrup and citrus juice. In this case, I’ve swapped out the traditional mint for brighter, zestier lime leaf.
At this point, you may be wondering (again), “Where the hell am I going to find lime leaves to make this syrup, Yvonne?!” Well, I’ve anticipated your question and am ready to tell you. Here in Ottawa, I picked mine up at Herb & Spice – conveniently located with the fresh herbs in the produce aisle.
Matcha is the perfect counterpoint for the bright, citrus-forward flavour of this drink. For the uninitiated, matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Instead of the usual steeping of tea leaves or bags, matcha is often prepared ceremoniously by whisking the powder with hot water in a small bowl with a chasen – a bamboo whisk.
The flavour is often grassy and slightly bitter – making it the perfect accompaniment to the sharp lemon, rounded juniper notes in the gin, and vibrant citrus notes from the lime leaf.
While I have been doing my best to equip folks with the bar skills and recipes they need to make delicious drinks at home, I know many of us enjoy having someone else shake the cocktails from time to time. Those of us in Ontario and Quebec were dealt a tough hand last week with the closure of in-restaurant dining, bars, and gyms for 28 days but there are still plenty of ways to support local and ensure you’re doing your part to keep the doors open on the businesses you know and love.
For instance, I’ve partnered up with Chef’s Paradise to become an instructor in their new Chef’s Paradise LIVE series. I’m teaching my first class this Saturday, October 17th at 5 p.m. Eastern.
The 90-minute virtual interactive workshop will cover cocktail fundamentals – exploring the different formulas that create the bedrock of all well-balanced drinks. In the process we’ll create 3 rum-based cocktails, all using a small handful of ingredients to simplify your grocery list.
Chef’s Paradise has been serving the Ottawa restaurant and home cook community for many years and recently built a stunning kitchen designed for in-person cooking and cocktail classes. While, we can’t gather in-person, the virtual classes allow you to step up your game from the comfort (and socially distanced safety) of your own home.
Tickets are only $35 and can be purchased at this link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/taste-tipple-virtual-cocktail-hour-tickets-122824566585
I hope you’ll join me!
Using a lemon wedge, rub the cut-side down the side of a coupe or Nick & Nora glass to paint a stripe of lemon juice. Holding the glass over a plate or cutting board, dust with the Matcha Cocktail Rimmer.
Add gin, lemon juice, and lime leaf syrup to a cocktail shaker. Shake over ice. Strain into prepared glass. Float the lime leaf on top of the drink. Enjoy!
Combine sugar, water, and lime leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Strain through a sieve (to remove solids) into an airtight glass jar. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.