Cocktails

Tip Your Bartender: Empire State South

May 21, 2020

Story: Punch Staff

Art: Nick Hensley

Empire State South’s summery Garden Collins includes nuanced touches that add character and depth, but are easily executed at home.

Tip Your Bartender is a social media initiative from PUNCH connecting our readers with bar teams across the country via Instagram. We’re asking select bartenders to share their drinks (albeit virtually) and encourage the PUNCH audience to “tip” during the economically uncertain times ahead. 

Between March 30th and May 29th, for every dollar tipped to bar teams, the Bacardi family of brands has generously committed to matching it with an equal gift to our charitable partner, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.

Send a tip to the Empire State South bar staff via Venmo by searching @kellie-thorn.

Garden Collins

Baylee Hopings, Empire State South | Atlanta, Georgia

Empire State South’s summery cocktail includes nuanced touches that add character and depth, but are easily executed at home. Highlighting ingredients from local farmers, the Scented Strawberry Syrup featured in the drink is a hallmark of the Atlanta bar’s style. The finished cocktail is layered, light and refreshing.

2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
¾ ounce scented strawberry syrup (see Editors’ Note)
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
2 to 3 ounces sparkling mineral water

Combine all ingredients except for the mineral water in a shaker tin, then add ice and shake. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice and top with sparkling water. Gently stir to combine.

Editors’ Note

Kell’s Scented Strawberry Syrup
2 cups local strawberries, chopped
1 ½ cups organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon rosewater
¼ teaspoon cardamom tincture (see below for recipe or use cardamom bitters, such as those by Scrappy’s)
Handful of fresh local mint

In a bowl, combine strawberries and sugar and stir to combine, but do not mash the berries. Cover and allow the strawberries to macerate for about an hour; the mixture should look syrupy. Transfer the strawberry-sugar mixture to a small pot. Heat the pot to medium-low, and cook the mixture for about 10 minutes, until the sugar is all dissolved, stirring occasionally. Do not boil or simmer; do not mash the fruit. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from the heat and strain again without mashing. Discard the solids (or save them, and put them on yogurt or ice cream). Allow the syrup to cool completely, then add the handful of mint and stir. Steep the mint in the cooled syrup for about 20 minutes, then strain again and add rosewater and cardamom tincture. Bottle the syrup and store in the refrigerator.

Cardamom Tincture
¼ cup cardamom seeds, cracked
Enough Everclear or vodka to cover the cardamom

Put cardamom seeds in a small jar and add enough vodka or Everclear to cover the spice. Cover the jar and store in a dark place, shaking once a day until the desired level of flavor extraction has been achieved. Strain through a coffee filter and store in an airtight vessel.

Order ingredients for this cocktail for delivery via Drizly.

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