Today, Ashley Rose Conway of Craft & Cocktails is taking over our monthly “Cocktail Occasions” feature. Below, she shares her recipe for a Rosemary Lemongrass Cooler—plus the story behind the drink and how it brought her closer to her dad!
I have been surrounded by great cocktails for a large part of my life. My dad is a cocktail connoisseur of sorts—he even has a room in the house that serves as his ‘cocktail lounge’—so you could say that cocktails run in the family. Being around him and testing his creations was always fascinating for me. (I know—such a hard life!) When people in our family turn 21, he makes them custom cocktails. The one he made me really inspired me to start experimenting.
Not long after my 21st birthday, my husband and I took a trip to Epcot. We were only a couple hours’ drive from Disney, and we often visited the park because, at the time, it was the closest we could get to “traveling around the world” while on a college-student budget. On one of these trips, we visited a bar that was unlike any place we’d ever been to. We glanced at the cocktail menu. There were so many options with great ingredients—and some of them I had never even heard of! Campari, rhum agricole and St. Germain were all absolutely foreign to me at the time. There were all kinds of fruits, vegetables, syrups and bitters added into the mix, too—it totally blew me away.
One drink that I ordered is, to this day, one of my favorite cocktails. It had herbal rosemary, delicate lemongrass and tart lime flavors, combined with a floral gin—a match made in cocktail heaven, I tell ya! I wanted to recreate this cocktail at home, but I didn’t know how, so I went to the cocktail guru. My dad whipped up a rich syrup of rosemary and lemongrass, and we began experimenting. (It was a really great father-daughter bonding moment.) Soon, the Rosemary Lemongrass Cooler was born. This was the age of “everything is a martini,” so it was served in a martini glass. More recently, I decided to update it a bit by pouring it in a vintage glass and topping with a splash of Champagne for added fizz. (Everyone loves a bit of fizz.) Happy imbibing!