Sometimes you're just forced to get creative.
That's what this cocktail is. A friend was visiting for a few weeks and we had gone grocery shopping. She came out with fresh basil, mint, and a watermelon seltzer and told me she wanted me to make her a gin based cocktail around it. And she hates gin. Challenge accepted.
The first iteration of this cocktail was not what this final version is. It was a little sweeter and a little less balanced. But I spent some time refining it after she left. It only needed some small tweaks, upping certain quantities of the spirits. It hit its stride after that.
Having access to fresh mint and basil really takes this drink up a notch compared to using store bought herbs. If you have your own mint and basil, I'd recommend using them for making this drink instead of store bought.
This drink is floral, aromatic, and herbal. But the watermelon counteracts it with a juiciness that makes it all play together wonderfully. It is incredibly refreshing and the booze is well hidden. The Hellfire Club is the definition of what a summer cocktail should be.
- 2oz Berkshire Mountain Distilling Gin
- 0.5oz Cocchi Rosa
- 0.25oz Fernet Branca
- 0.25oz Simple Syrup
- 2 Basil Leaves
- 2 Mint Leaves
- Watermelon Seltzer
Add the simple syrup, basil, and mint leaves to a shaker and muddle. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a collins glass with pebble ice and top with watermelon seltzer. Garnish with a sprig of mint.