Date Night, the movie, may have been bland and formulaic, but Date Night, the cocktail, is exactly what a date night with your honey is supposed to be – familiar, but no less fun and sexy for it. This pale green refresher, served up in a coupe with a basil leaf or blackberry garnish, is essentially a martini (gin and vermouth) jazzed up with fresh lemon juice (instead of the traditional lemon twist) and Kiwi Reàl, a branded syrup infused with premium Hayward kiwis from New Zealand. It’s the handiwork of The Covenant mixologist John Woo, who understands this cooking principle: Keep it simple, but use great ingredients, including premium Hendrick’s Gin, infused with the essences of rose and cucumber; and Dolin Blanc vermouth, which is sweeter, bigger and more floral than regular dry vermouth. Add the lemon juice and kiwi syrup and you have a frothy but balanced cocktail with velvety mouthfeel.
For a date night at home (which isn’t exactly the point, but whatever), do this: Put 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin, ¾ oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth, ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice and ½ oz. Kiwi Reàl syrup in a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake. Double-strain into a coupe and float a fresh basil leaf or blackberry on the surface.
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