Plums are almost out of season, but you can enjoy some ripe black ones for a little while longer. This drink is perfect for those and fresh rosemary pulled from the garden (or grocery store).
The first step, making a rosemary-infused simple syrup, is simple and can be done ahead of time. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for a week or so. Here's how you make it:
Put 1/2 cup each of sugar, water, and fresh rosemary in a saucepan. Stir it occasionally over low heat until the sugar is dissolved, and then let it simmer, covered, for about five minutes. Let it cool, then pour it into a glass or jar. (If you have a sieve, you could strain it — or just pull the branches out!)
For two drinks:
Cut the plum in half and remove the pit. Dice one half of the plum and slice the other. Use a mortar and pestle — or just a bowl and a wooden spoon — to muddle the diced plum pieces and set the pretty slices aside.
Then, empty your muddled plum pieces into a cocktail shaker along with 4 ounces of gin (or 2.5 shots), 2 tablespoons of rosemary-infused simple syrup, and a small handful of ice cubes. Shake it for a what feels like an awkwardly long time, so the flavors really meld.
Fill two glasses halfway with ice and place a few of your plum slices in each one. Pour the contents of the cocktail shaker between the two glasses, top them with club soda, and give them a stir. If you're feeling cute, go for a fresh rosemary garnish!
TIPS FOR LAZY AND CREATIVE BOOZERS
• Don't be intimidated by the herb-infused simple syrup! It's easy, and really does add a sort of autumnal pine-ish taste to the plum. Plus, you can try it with other herbs too! Thyme? Yum.
• You may have noticed I use a mason jar as my cocktail shaker and strainer (for more creative uses see here and here). Just hold the lid a little bit to the side when you pour out the contents, and it's close enough to a strainer. Little fruit particles in your drink? Whatever!
• Also - those pulverized, gin-soaked plums sitting in the bottom of the cocktail shaker? If your friends are anything like mine, you'll likely end up spooning them out and eating them before the next round.
Jenni Avins mixes drinks in her New York kitchen, where she also writes about food, fashion, travel, and the arts for various magazines and websites. She makes videos too. Follow her on Twitter @jenniavins