#Cocktail - The Black Summers Night

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If you follow my Instagram, you know that I am an avid fan of gin. I credit my romance with this spirit to my husband, who is the king of “Gin and Tonics.” Prior to him, I never gave it a this beloved spirit a true chance, but there is something about the essence of juniper that sends my taste-buds into euphoria.

As a self-proclaimed gin enthusiast, I am constantly on the prowl for new distilleries and varieties to try. Imagine then, my elation, when I saw that my favorite gin brand, “Bluecoat” was releasing a limited-edition Elderflower Gin. After racing to the distillery to grab a bottle (or two hehe), my head was swirling with a million creative ideas for the perfect cocktail.

With the summer months upon us, I wanted to craft a simple sweet cocktail meant for sipping on my balcony after the end of a long day. Using a mix of homemade blackberry simple syrup, fresh lime, and Bluecoat Elderflower Gin, I present to you with: The Black Summers Night titled after one of my favorite wind down albums for Summer. 

Enjoy!

The Black Summers Night

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  • 2 oz Bluecoat Elderflower Gin
  • 3/4 oz Blackberry Simple Syrup
  • The Juice of 1 Small Lime
  • 6 Blackberries
  • 2 oz Tonic Water

Muddle blackberries and Blackberry Simple Syrup in the bottom of a shaker.  (Here is a simple recipe for the homemade Blackberry Simple Syrup ) Add Bluecoat Elderflower Gin and Lime Juice, fill with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain over ice in a Collins glass. Top with Tonic Water.  Garnish with a lime slice and a blackberry. 

And for a bonus, enjoy while listening to a song from the album that inspired it's name:

 

 

GT Getaways: Chicago Weekend!

If there's one city that makes my heart flutter, it's Chicago! Last weekend, in honor of Mark and I's three year anniversary, we planned a trip there! Although our time there was limited (only 3 days) it was packed full of satisfying cuisine and exploration of the city's many neighborhoods. If Chi-Town is on your bucket list or you're planning a getaway soon, here are some highlights and recommendations you may need to keep in your back-pocket from our trip.

THE SIGHTS:

MY PICKS:

Chicago Architecture Foundation Tour - As a city known for it's massive skyscrapers and captivating building designs, the CAF Architecture Tour is a must for those who have never been to Chicago (or have been but never taken the official tour). The tour we attended was an information packed 90 minutes that was well worth it and included amazing views of the city and Lake Michigan. 

Maude's Liquor Bar - An intimate bar cloaked in rustic modern charm, Maude's Liquor Bar is the perfect option for a date night or some tasty pre-dinner cocktails  with friends. If you are a cocktail connoisseur, I highly suggest the "Aviation" which is a blend of Sipsmith Gin, Lemon, Luxardo Maraschino, and Crème di Violette, 

Sweet Mandy B's Dessert Boutique - Located in the heart of Lincoln Park, Sweet Mandy B's is an amazing dessert boutique. The bake shop offers a rich selection of delectable desserts that are crafted with care by Pastry Chef, Sherrie Tan. If you decide to stop by, (and you definitely should!) the Lemon Cupcakes and Confetti Cookies are to die for!

The John Hancock Observatory  - With 360 Degree views at 1000 feet above Lake Michigan, the Hancock building offers the most breathtaking views of the city. You've never seen Chicago until you've seen it from the 94th Floor!

The Bongo Room - If you're looking for a place to grab breakfast or lunch (or alternatively, my favorite meal BRUNCH) The Bongo Room is a fantastic option. With locations in The South Loop and Wicker Park, the restaurant serves feel-good comfort food with options for every type of diet. My pick, the Breakfast Burrito (trust me, you will not be disappointed) !

I plan on making another trip very soon! If you have any recommendations, please drop them below!