With Valentine's Day coming up, you may be wondering how to best treat your significant other, your crush or, better yet, yourself. This year, I encourage you to skip the flowers and chocolates and get your indulgence fix with a well-made cocktail. Creamy, tart and herbal, this take on the classic gin fizz will leave nothing to be desired in both looks and taste. Because nothing says intense passion like gin, juicy blackberries, a dash of rosemary and a topping of airy foam.

This cocktail is a tad more complex than some of the others I've shared as it requires making your own simple syrup and incorporates egg whites. While both of those may seem intimidating, I promise you - they're really not. Simple syrup just takes a little patience. Heat water, sugar and whatever flavor agent you're adding until the sugar dissolves and the flavor has sufficiently been infused into the syrup (or just follow my instructions below to take the guesswork out of it). It's a really great way to incorporate herbs into your drinks while adding some sweetness. Sage, lavender, basil and rosemary are some of my favorite variations thus far, but I look forward to experimenting with many more.

Now that we've crossed that bridge, let's tackle egg whites. Getting a little squeamish at the thought of consuming raw eggs? I feel you. I used to avoid egg white cocktails at all costs. However, I now strongly regret my wasted years of not drinking deliciously foamy concoctions. It's true that egg whites carry the risk of salmonella. Using fresh, pasteurized eggs makes that risk virtually nonexistent. So how do you turn goopy eggs into magical froth topping? In the process of shaking egg white with citrus, the egg white proteins are emulsified - or broken down in structure to create a foamy texture. Citrus and proper agitation are key. Get ready to work out those cocktail shaking muscles!

If you loved egg whites in this cocktail and want to try more - check out this previous post.

The Infatuation

  • 2 oz gin
  • 0.75 oz rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)*
  • 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • 1 pasteurized egg white (egg whites from a carton are easy and create less waste)
  • 5 ripe blackberries

Place blackberries in a cocktail shaker and muddle to release the liquid. Add gin, rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice and egg white. Shake vigorously for about 15 seconds, making sure you're holding the top of the shaker so it doesn't fly off due to the developing pressure. Carefully open the shaker to add a few ice cubes. Shake again until shaker is frosted over, then strain into a stemmed or embellished glass. You may have to wiggle the shaker a bit when pouring as the blackberry pulp will plug the holes. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and serve to your sweetheart. 

* To make rosemary simple syrup, add 2 cups filtered water, 0.5 cup sugar and a handful of fresh rosemary to a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat for approximately 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Strain out rosemary and allow to cool, then transfer unused portion to a jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.