HOW I MAKE THAT DRINK (AND WHY IT’S SO GOOD)
The Alma de Verano, a fresh take on a Hendricks martini
Elvyra, the Beverage Manager at the Kimpton Surfcomber in Miami’s South Beach, started bartending when she was 18, at a casual brunch spot near where she grew up in New York City. She had been working as a server for about a year and pestered her manager for the chance to work behind the bar, and eventually the manager gave in. “At the time, I was studying fine arts and I thought restaurant work would just be a way I could make decent money while I was completing my degree. Long story short, I fell in love with hospitality and ended up changing my major to hospitality management,” she says.
After college she “knew I wanted to focus my career in beverage service, leading me to my current position. At Surfcomber, I’ve been curating our cocktail and wine selections at our two restaurants – Social Club and High Tide, expanding on our poolside bottle service selection, and have also had the opportunity to open a pop-up bar that serves cocktails on tap. One of my goals is to bring some Manhattan flair to South Beach with High Tea service.”
We’ll have whatever she’s offering!
Alma de Verano
I came up with this drink when I was a college student working as a bartender at a steakhouse in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I had a regular customer who always came in to have a Hendricks martini up with a twist. One day, he requested a ‘refreshing and not too sweet’ cocktail made with gin, and the cocktail just happened as a result of that. It was the first day of summer and especially hot that day, hence the name “alma de verano”, or “soul of summer”.
This cocktail is so good because it is a perfect balance of smooth, sweet, tart, and effervescent, which compliments the strong botanicals in gin very well. It really works because it’s easy to make and drink but still offers a complex flavor. I make this cocktail for any guest who claims they don’t like gin, and I end up changing their mind every time.
2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1 oz St Germain
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3 dash Peychaud’s bitters
splash of club soda
garnished with cucumber and lemon peel
Combine Hendrick’s, St Germain, and lemon juice in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into collins glass with fresh ice. Add three dashes of Peychaud’s into the glass, then top with club soda. Garnish with lemon peel and cucumber slice.
Using Hendrick’s gin is key for flavor because it is the only gin that contains cucumber as one of the botanicals, making this cocktail extra refreshing. To create a beautiful pink to yellow gradient, it is important to add the Peychaud’s after adding the gin, lemon juice, and St Germain and before the club soda. Fresh lemon juice is also a must.