The Grove Keeper is a rich, flavorful cocktail that features a delicious homemade apricot syrup and a heavy, meringue-like foam. The sweetness of the apricot syrup is balanced by a small amount of Campari, which gives the drink an amazingly rich color.
Making syrups at home can be a great way to include your favorite fruit flavors in your cocktails. They last for weeks and really add a personal touch to entertaining guests over drinks, plus they are sweet enough to add to your favorite baked goods. Around this time of year (mid-May through mid-June), one of my favorite syrup-flavoring fruits, apricots, come back into season.
To make the syrup, start by cutting the apricots into quarters. Next, remove the skin by squishing the the slices until the meat of the fruit separates from it. Apricots are extremely pliable when ripe, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Once you have your skinless apricot pieces, add them to a measuring cup and muddle or mash them until they are completely soft and squishy. Every four apricots you use should equal about a half cup.
Add this mixture to a small saucepan with an equal amount of simple syrup (recipe here) and a small amount of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for roughly 15 minutes. Strain once through a wire strainer, and then a second time through cheesecloth. Add this mixture to a clean glass bottle or Mason jar and let cool, then transfer the syrup to your favorite spouted container. Refrigerate for up to four weeks.
Use the syrup in this cocktail at your next summertime gathering and enjoy the flavors of the grove!
3 oz Belvedere Vodka
1 ½ oz Apricot Syrup
¼ oz Campari
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of sugar
1 egg white
Dash orange bitters
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice and shake until foamy. Add ice and shake for a second time, hard. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a slice of apricot.