Summer Drinks: Second Bar + Kitchen

Today’s drink of the day is Second Bar + Kitchen’s ode to the original gin & juice: the Gin & Jam. In this silver spooned version of the magic elixir made famous by Snoop Dogg Lion, the ‘juice’ is a heaping spoonful of housemade jam.

Whereas many jammed-up cocktails are shaken before being served, Second’s deconstructed version features a stiff pour of Monopolowa gin on the rocks with a mound of jam meant to be stirred in as one drinks. Second offers two seasonal offerings: Blackberry Fresno Lime Marmalade and a Strawberry-Watermelon Jam.

Gin and Jam - $8

Gin and Jam – $8

Of the two flavors, I preferred the blackberry version. The still-plump blackberries gave the marmalade plenty of fruit flavor while the subtle lime notes made it surprisingly less sweet than expected. As for the promised Fresno chili flavor, even my mild palate couldn’t identify any heat in the drink. The considerable portion of jam makes this one filling cocktail, but nonetheless, I still went for round two in order to try the strawberry-watermelon option (for research purposes, of course). While the strawberry version was considerably easier to stir into the gin, this also made it cross that fine line between too sweet and just right.

Though jam floaters are new to me, turns out using marmalade, jellies and jams in cocktails can be traced back to a recipe for ‘Barbados Punch’ in the famed Bartender’s Guide published in 1862. Marmalade laced cocktails later became popular in Europe during the 20’s and 30’s thanks in large part to American expat Harry Craddock, bartender at the famed Savoy Hotel in London and author of the Savoy Cocktail Book. With Prohibition era libations all the rage these days, Second Bar + Kitchen –together with adjoining Bar Congress –is known for placing a modern spin on classic drinks, something well represented in this reimagined gin & jam cocktail.

Second Bar + Kitchen, 200 Congress, Austin, TX 78701. Sunday – Thursday 11am-midnight; Friday – Saturday 11am-2am.

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