Southsider’s Drink of the Month: The J Street Rose

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Lester Miller

Photo by Sarah Jane Sanders

Developed for the dinner menu of Stella’s Kentucky Deli, the J Street Rose is a champagne cocktail loosely modeled after the French 75 but with some contemporary twists. I wanted to use it as a vehicle to showcase our Rose Geranium syrup, which we have been using for years in our house-made sodas. Therapeutically, the essential oils of the rose geranium plant are used to relieve stress, to soothe nerves and as a natural antidepressant; thus, the aroma adds an uplifting quality to the cocktail.

The J Street Rose also requires Hendrick’s Gin, which is infused with cucumber and rose petals. Both of these are central to the flavor profile of the cocktail, and no other gin can adequately substitute.

• 1 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
• 3/4 oz. Rose Geranium syrup (recipe below)
• 1/4 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• 4 oz. dry champagne or cava
• Cucumber slice

Pour gin, rose geranium syrup and lemon juice into a shaker over ice. Shake, and strain into a white-wine glass. Top with champagne or Cava and garnish with the cucumber slice.

Rose Geranium Syrup
• 1 cup granulated cane sugar
• 1 cup water
• 12-15 large rose geranium leaves

Mix water and sugar in a small sauce pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off heat and add leaves. Let steep for 15-30 minutes; strain and chill.

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