Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday Cocktails: Florodora Cocktail by Maggiano's

A.K.A. A Homage to Hendrick's Gin

This particular cocktail has been planned for a while after Maggiano's featured it in July as a special seasonal drink. I was happy to see Hendrick's Gin featured in something besides a cucumber drink (which is equally delicious with Hendrick's). The Florodora recipe can be found on Maggiano's Blog.

I decided that this was the week because this was our first official Sunday Cocktail Hour in a few weeks (as official as an impromptu get together can be without any real planning except vague comments about inclinations to get together). This was also our first weekend after our recent trip to Chicago which may be important because Chicago actually inspired me to use more Hendrick's as a key component in cocktails.

Hendrick's Gin Billboard - A Hotel Room View
Why you ask? Well apparently Chicago has a love for Hendrick's based on billboards in Downtown Chicago.  I kid you not, there were TWO of them within walking distance from our hotel room. This first one here is actually shot from our hotel room window. Seeing that every day (well countless times every day) made me remember that we had this drink on the short list. I actually had one at Maggiano's to "test" it before making it at home but it's really not too much of an experiment when you have Hendrick's in the house and you know you already love it.

Hendrick's Gin is not your regular gin and I've featured it before in this blog. We made a Cucumber Lime Spritzers as one of our first Sunday Cocktails. Hendrick's Gin is infused with rose petals and cucumbers and distilled in Scotland. It's a little on the high end in terms of price but it's also a super cool bottle (think vintage apothecary) and I actually keep it in my vintage style apothecary metal and glass cabinet (go figure). I think that says a lot since other liquor (with the exception of some collector grade K'ah Sugar Skull Tequila bottles) is locked up in an artillery case to keep it secure. But this bottle is just so pretty. The flavor is a little quirky but I am not a huge fan of gin in general so that's fine by me. Use a little tonic water, or some 7 Up. Throw in some cucumbers, or limes, or whatever. Just pour it over ice and you really are all set.

Second Billboard for Hendrick's Gin - So Pretty!
Speaking of ingredients as there were no formal plans our Florodoras did get some variations on the original recipe. 1. I  had strawberries in the house but they were frozen in a Pyrex in the fridge, along with the limes. I defrosted them with a little 15 second zap in the microwave so they were softer but not cooked. I shouldn't admit it but it's what we had on hand. 2. We did not have simple syrup made and we didn't want to prolong the time to get to our drinks so we just used some sugar and muddled the strawberries. Sure, I should make some simple syrup and I'm going to but I had not yet. If Sunday Cocktail Hour becomes stressful I think we would lose the spirit of Sunday Cocktail Hour. . . and 3. We did not purchase Ginger Beer. It was discussed but we did not end up buying any for a couple of reasons. First, I don't think either myself or my friend Jill really LIKE Ginger Beer as it seems much stronger. I also saw it at a specialty store and it was quite pricey for 4 bottles (which we would waste in needing only 4 ounces for two drinks). Canada Dry seemed like a good choice with a milder flavor and a much milder price ($4 for 12 cans at Target this week). I guess I did a little planning by picking up the Canada Dry yesterday before Cocktail Hour. . .

So here is the version of the drink that we ended up making rather than exactly like Maggiano's. Call it artistic liscense as I think Hendrick's is all about making things your own. . .

Florodora Adaption 

Makes 1 Cocktail


1.5 oz Hendrick's Gin
1/2 oz Lime Juice (we used the little plastic lime from the grocery store)
1.5 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Strawberry, destemmed and cut into quarters (defrosted from my frozen stash)
2 oz Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Lime Quarters (defrosted from my frozen stash)


In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with the sugar. Add gin and lime juice. Fill the shaker about halfway with ice and shake for about 30 seconds. Add the Ginger Ale and gently roll. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass with ice. Dump ice from the shaker to retrieve some of the muddle strawberries that settled in the bottom of the shaker. Add some lime wedges for more flavor.

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