Get your strawberry summer cocktails while you still can

August 8, 2013

A glace at the calendar earlier this week led to one of those Oh-my-God-it's-August-where-has-the-summer-gone moments. But opportunities for beach days and pool parties aren't the only things that are dwindling. So are the flavors of the season.

London's Underbelly London's Underbelly, made with strawberry-infused gin, will remain on Firefly's summer drink menu for a limited time. (Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

The brightest cocktail trend of the last few months was fresh strawberries, whether infused into spirits or muddled into a glass. At Firefly, Jon Harris has been soaking them into Beefeater gin and using the result as a base for a drink called London's Underbelly. As summer winds down, though, he has been getting fewer berries from the farm that supplies the hotel's kitchen, and London's Underbelly will probably come off the menu next week.

There's still time, though, to savor this smooth summer sipper. The sweetness of fruit and the juniper-citrus bite of gin are at the forefront, but it's everything else that makes London's Underbelly worth trying. Harris created a special Earl Grey-infused vermouth that provides a smooth, rich body and noticeable bergamot undercurrent. The bitter Italian liqueur Gran Classico binds the two tastes together.

Enjoy it while you can. Before you know it, we'll be talking about pumpkin beers and spiced bourbon cocktails, and dreaming of downing London's Underbelly on a warm summer day.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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