Elderflower Collins

Guest Post by Jo-Jo Valenzuela

I recently made the discovery that if you hire a professional to keep your many guests with a terrific drink in hand, it’s possible to actually speak to them over the course of an evening. What a revelation! Everyone wins. I had the pleasure of meeting Jo-Jo Valenzuela and my guests had the delightful task of sampling the following refreshing summer cocktail created with Weekly Greens in mind. I’m pleased to feature it here and share the love with you. Thanks, Jo-Jo!

  • 1-½ oz. Hendrick’s Gin
  • ½ oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 oz. fresh cucumber juice
  • ½ oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup (2:1, sugar:water)
  • 4 dashes Barkeep lavender spice bitters
  • Splash club soda
  • Cucumber wheel, to serve

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, elderflower liqueur, cucumber juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a collins glass filled with ice.
  • Top off with club soda, garnish with cucumber, then serve with a straw.
  • Quick Tips {from Alicia}
  • 1. The best way to juice a cucumber is with a juice extractor. You can easily make this drink in quantity by having a carafe of cucumber juice at the ready.
  • 2. Jo-Jo taught me a great trick! Soak the lemons in hot tap water for a while before juicing them. This will allow you to get the most juice out of them. Neat, right?
  • 3. There are plenty of uses for leftover simple syrup. I keep some in my refrigerator to add to iced tea or coffee. It’s also come in handy for making my homemade ice pops!
  • About the Guest Author
  •  Jo-Jo is a member of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild. Besides tending bar at the soon-to-be-opened Jack Rose (late July 2011), he is also currently an on-call bartender at Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar in National Harbor, and at Old Glory in Georgetown, where he is currently upgrading the drink list, and shaking (and stirring) drinks on the patio on Friday nights. Before joining the much-awaited Jack Rose, Jo-Jo opened Ris in December 2009. As bar manager/mixologist at Ris, he developed the savory cocktail program that focused on using fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, and premium spirits. Also known as Jo-Jo the Barkeep, he was featured in Nightclub & Bar Magazine as April Bartender of the Month (2011). His original cocktail, “Autumn Breeze,” was chosen as one of the 101 best new cocktails and published in Gaz Regan’s 2011 Annual Manual for Bartenders. Read Jo-Jo’s blog here.

Number of servings (yield): 1



2 responses to “Elderflower Collins”

  1. Amy Murphy says:

    Now here’s a recipe that I’m willing to try! :-)

    • Alicia says:

      And you should indeed! I only recently discovered the wonder that is Hendrick’s thanks to Jo-Jo. Wow. Clearly, I’ve been missing out. I’m also finding that St. Germaine’s has many fun uses as well. Here’s to old friends and new discoveries – chin chin!

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