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Drink Your Way Through Rhubarb Season With the Hook & Blush

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Hook & Blush.jpegSplurging on miso-marinated black cod in Gotham Bar and Grill's hallowed dining room may not be a nightly ritual, but now that bartender Jeremy Hawn has introduced a medley of vibrant cocktails inspired by playing in the restaurant's herb garden, the excuses to take a seat at the Greenwich Village icon's elegant bar are plentiful.

One of Hawn's best concoctions is the Hook & Blush, a soft pink-hued gin libation with a pleasant tartness that surprises upon first sip. Both the tang and the color come courtesy of spring's most beloved but confounding vegetable, rhubarb. Its season is fleeting, and that's why Blue Hill Farm's strawberry-rhubarb jam appealed to the locavore-minded Hawn. "Strawberry-rhubarb pie is a classic. Even for breakfast," he says.

With one of those double-crusted beauties in mind, Hawn embarked on the Hook & Blush, pairing the jam with Brooklyn's Greenhook Gin ("it's crisp, clean, refreshing, and made one zip code away from me"), Dolin Blanc vermouth, lemon juice, simple syrup and rhubarb bitters. The drink's subtle union of lush fruit and bracing zing is especially satisfying amid this early onslaught of heat.

Recipe:

2 oz. Greenhook Gin
2 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters
2 barspoons Blue Hill strawberry-rhubarb jam
1/2 oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup
Lemon twist

Shake ingredients and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Finish with a lemon twist, then discard before serving.

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