As you know, Chicagoans take their cocktails seriously. And this summer, there's no way we're pouring any lackluster swill for our guests (the horror!). We all need a summer quaff that will not only taste divine, but also impress party-goers with our mixology prowess. Of course, mixing up a proper cocktail can be intimidating, so we didn't mess around: We went straight to Sable Kitchen & Bar expert barmaster, Mike Ryan. You can ask him for his credentials, or you can just sit down at Sable and let him make you a drink. But either way, you'll see this guy's got the mad skills that make good mixology an artform. Naturally, he's the guy we went to for concocting the ultimate—and easy!—summer refresher. The Strawberry Fizz is just what our summer patio parties need, and thanks to Ryan, we've got the tips to mix it up to perfection. Salut!
1 1/2 oz Gin. "I recommend a London Dry such as Beefeater, Broker's, or Tanqueray."
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice.
3/4 oz simple syrup. "Simple Syrup is simple, really. Use equal parts water and sugar, by volume. don't cook it, just measure and stir it until it goes into solution. Keeps in the fridge for over a month. If you drink cocktails at home you should have this around."
1 strawberry, hulled. "Just cut off the green part. Look for strawberries that are glowing with health, and fully red. They should be juicy and red inside, not white and hard."
"Put the strawberry in cocktail shaker. Next, mash it with a muddler if you have one, or a rolling pin, or a bottle, or whatever. Add everything else, and add ice. Shake it, and strain into a highball glass with a couple of cubes of ice. Add seltzer water to fill the glass, and if you like garnish with a sprig of mint. Enjoy. Another option: This tastes really good with a white rum, such as Flor De Cana or Barbancourt, in place of the gin."