Home / Cocktail Recipes / The Bessie Coleman Gin Cocktail
26 February, 2016

The Bessie Coleman Gin Cocktail

Comments : 6 Posted in : Cocktail Recipes, Gin, Liqueurs on by : The Gourmez

Bessie Coleman Gin Cocktail

If you’re a longtime reader of the Gourmez, you’re familiar with my tenuous relationship with gin. The verdurous herbs, with that alcoholic kick, often prove too much for my palate. Last spring, on a visit to their Alameda distillery, I discovered St. George’s Terroir gin, only the second gin I’ve ever truly enjoyed (TOPO’s Piedmont Gin is the first). It won me over with its subtler herbal presence, a profile meant to evoke the coastal forests of northern California.

I thought it might be interesting to make an Aviation, the classic gin cocktail, with the Terroir to see how different it might taste from one made with standard, juniper-heavy gins. Of course, as nearly everyone who’s ever wanted to make an Aviation but failed to can anticipate, I didn’t have crème de violette on hand. Crème de violette gives the Aviation its signature lavender color. Quelle horreur!

So I decided to use the crème de framboise I had instead, and the combination delighted me! Tasting it inspired me to add a sage sprinkle on top, as sage and strawberry can make for excellent companions. Then I decided it’d be fun to make this cocktail solely with Bay Area ingredients. Twitter friends, mainly @DapperDiner, pointed me towards St. George’s raspberry liqueur to use instead of the generic crème de framboise I had, and it made the drink every bit as vivid as the crème de violette would — just in a different color. I upped the sage presence by making a sage-infused simple syrup and rimming the glass with sugar and ground sage.

St. George Terroir Gin Raspberry Cocktail

All in all, I’m quite satisfied! The name honors Bessie Coleman, the first African American and American Indian aviator in U.S. history. Of course, I chose that name as a riff off its Aviation inspiration, but the cocktail’s lovely sage ending note also recalls Ms. Coleman’s Cherokee heritage. The combination of liqueurs and simple syrup is certainly sweet, but that’s why you’ll want to adjust the lemon amount to your taste.

Ingredients for the Bessie Coleman cocktail

The Bessie Coleman Cocktail
2 ounces St. George Terroir Gin
1/2 ounce St. George Raspberry Liqueur
1/2 ounce sage simple syrup
1/4 – 1/2 ounce lemon juice to taste
Fine sugar
Ground sage

Prepare your rim by combining the sugar and sage on a small plate. Rub the cut side of a lemon around your martini glass’s rim, then dip it into the sugar and sage. Shake the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker and pour into the glass. If you want more tartness, add a squeeze.Gin and Sage Cocktail, the Bessie Coleman Aviation

Tested 2 February 2016.


6 thoughts on : The Bessie Coleman Gin Cocktail

  • February 26, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    That does look interesting. My Beloved Spouse really likes the St. George gin. I tend to prefer a good London Dry. But what a clever cocktail.

    • The Gourmez
      March 1, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      I am definitely with your husband on this count! I appreciate the artistry that is classic gin, but it’s just too hard on my palate most the time. Which is why I savor the ones I enjoy!

  • February 29, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    YUM!! I love gin and this cocktail sounds delicious. I’ve never had St. George Spirits before. Do you know if they distribute on the East Coast?

    • The Gourmez
      March 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      I believe St. George answered that for you on Twitter! But if you missed it, or for anyone else trying to find them, they presently ask that you email findmebooze@stgeorgespirits.com. Which is an excellent email address!

  • March 6, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    I am a gin lover, but I have found that craft gin owns my heart – small distilleries (like Dillon’s in Niagara) tend to make gins that are much more to my tastes. I’ll have to see if this one is available here!

  • Pingback: Pairing Pure Leaf's Tea House Collection with SPQR's Finesse! -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,