We were early and thirsty for our dinner date. Beer seemed too casual; wine excessively formal. In an establishment better known for their bottle selection (they even offer a complimentary glass of vino after spa treatments), we decided to buck tradition and expand our limited mixology knowledge. So we gladly accepted Stonehill Tavern's other list, searching for a spirited balance.
Divided between classic and modern cocktails, the desire for savory found us requesting a Heavenly Hendrick's. Our track record with liquor was not the most reliable, but a recent foray into this particular gin egged us on.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice and a simple syrup sounded more neighborhood lemonade stand, less sophisticated pour. The use of egg whites, while initially unsettling, made sense after our server elaborated. Included not as a flavor, but for a foamy texture, the airy contribution breathed life into our ethereal drink. That hint of cucumber offered a refreshing quality, even doubling as a neutralizer for our potent gin base. By themselves, the handful of ingredients would be pedestrian. Together, they made for one fine cocktail.
Available since spring, this Heavenly Hendrick's paired well with our courses. It tasted so smooth, we ordered another, silently wishing Don Draper or Roger Sterling would appear in the seat across from us and request his own–and then one for us.