When it comes to adult beverages, I've always been a cocktail girl. I dine out most nights of the week and when it's time to order, nine times out of ten I will pick a cocktail over beer or wine.
Back in December I had my first sip of Nautical Gin at a holiday party at the Olive Connection in Brookline. I was immediately struck by the floral and fruity notes in the gin. They actually use 10 botanicals, sourced from all over the world, to create that unique taste that is both citrusy and spicy, with a hint of sea salt. When the company reached out to ask if I would like to be part of their upcoming cocktail recipe contest, I jumped at the chance. Molly the mixologist has a nice ring to it, don't you think?
When the package arrived, I couldn't wait to cut through the tape! The Nautical Gin bottle is a gorgeous, turquoise blue. It immediately reminds you of the ocean.
I am obsessed with the bottle's bulbous shape, which looks like it could bob in the waves, floating toward daytime drinkers enjoying their surf boards, tubes or boats.
The neck of the bottle is wrapped in a bronze seal and stamped with the Nautical Gin logo, which looks like a cross between a compass and a weathervane.
As a marketing person, I always notice the details on packaging, including the Nautical Gin "N" proudly branded on the tippy top of the bottle.
On the back side of the glass, you can read about Nautical Gin's unique ingredients, as well as their commitment exploration and adventure. That is a brand ethos I can totally get behind.
I was really impressed to see that each bottle also comes with an insert that tells the story of the company.
That insert also includes 10 cocktail recipes! I am one of those people who always has to turn to Google for cocktail inspiration (especially when I am not sure that anything in my kitchen mixes well together) so I will definitely be keeping these handy for all my future soirees. Thankfully, you can view all the recipes online.
I spent a good two weeks thinking about what would serve as the inspiration for my personal twist on the Nautical Gin Gimlet. Other than gin, the most important ingredient in the original drink is sweetened lime juice. I was trying to think what flavors I love with lime and then it dawned on me! One of my favorite cocktails is the spiked raspberry lime rickey at Christopher's in Cambridge, MA, so I wanted to riff on that. The Christopher's drink is served with vodka, but given the fruity notes in Nautical Gin, I had a feeling it would be a perfect match.
I began by getting out my glassware. I chose stemless glasses, most because I don't trust myself not to spill while holding a martini glass.
I knew I wanted this to be a lime-forward drink, so I started by juicing some. I used one lime for the juice in the drink (half a lime per glass) and the others for garnish.
To get the kind of garnish I was hoping for, I cut one of the limes down the center and then sliced them paper thin, mimicking a cucumber garnish.
With my lime juice and lime wheels ready to go, it was time to open the Nautical Gin bottle! I was pleasantly surprised to find the signature "N" on the top of the cap beneath the seal.
With the lime juice ready and the gin poured, I started working on my second garnish - the raspberries.
While a more gifted cocktail wizardess may have tackled something ambitious like raspberry simple syrup, I decided to keep the raspberries fresh and use them as a bright, colorful and tasty finishing touch.
I used extra long toothpicks (which you can find at the grocery store) to put three raspberries on each pick. Then I topped my gin and lime juice with a splash of Polar lime seltzer, added those berry picks and . . . voila!
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the Nautical Gin Lime Rickey Gimlet!
You can slowly pop the raspberries one by one as you sip, or you can be like me, and sink them to the bottom of your glass. That way, you can eat them at the very end, once they have soaked up all the gin. #winning
If you would like to mix up this drink at home, here is my recipe.
Nautical Gin Lime Rickey Gimlet
Serving size: one refreshing cocktail.
- 3 ounces Nautical Gin (2 shots)
- 6 ounces Polar lime seltzer
- 2 limes (one for juicing, one for garnish)
- 1 package of raspberries (add as many fresh berries as you like)
- 1 extra long tooth pick (for easy decoration or swirling)
- 4 ice cubes
In addition to sharing my recipe here, my gimlet is going to be part of Nautical Gin's February cocktail recipe contest. From February 1 - February 20, 2017 you will have the opportunity to vote for my custom drink. To vote, simply like the picture of my cocktail on Nautical Gin's Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts.
If you're interested in trying a bottle of Nautical Gin, they have a liquor store locator on their website. Just enter your zip code and the mileage radius you are willing to drive (or take public transportation) and the results pop right up.
*This post is sponsored by Nautical Gin. As always, all opinions are 100 percent my own.