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Razwick's Offcial Optimism Juice, Version 2

I'll be honest, the first iteration of this cocktail recipe was good, but I had a lot of refining to do in order to make this a satisfying drink that you can make and enjoy on a regular basis. I think I've gotten pretty darn close to perfect on this one, if by perfect I mean "what I was trying to accomplish" which, in this case, I do!

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Razwick's Offcial Optimism Juice, Version 2

by Razwick

So, for version two of the happiest cocktail, I've made a few improvements over the last, which, if for some strange reason, you'd like to try (or laugh at) as well, you can find here.

First off, I've simplified this, since roasting strawberries every time you want a drink is sort of absurd. The idea here was to make it less of a novelty and more of something you can actually enjoy on whim.

So, what you're going to need:

1oz Gin, or if you're one of those weirdos that doesn't like gin, white rum
.5 oz Triple Sec
1ish oz of strawberry simple syrup (leaning towards slightly more rather than slightly less)
.25 oz lime juice (I think that's like, 4 splashes in bartender terms.)
Ice/water to top it up

Lets talk nuance! So, there's a few things about this drink that I'd recommend mixing up based on your taste. If you want it to be a little boozier, and/or get kinda wasted without realizing it, you can up the Triple Sec to .75oz without really compromising the taste. I suspect you could also use Grand Marnier or something similar, I'm open to substitutions, but your mileage may vary if you do, as I haven't tested it.

If you like your drinks sweet or extra fruity, please do add another half oz. of simple syrup, I usually do 1.5 oz, but I've had a few people who like less sweet drinks say they'd like less, so I'm saying 1 oz. as a baseline.

Now, as far as the simple syrup, I made my own. It's really, really easy. All you have to do is boil strawberries (or the fruit of your choice) in water, strain out the strawberry bits (and don't squish them or you'll get cloudy syrup) add some sugar to taste, and boil it until it thickens just a little. Google for more specific instructions, because I don't want to take up too much space here covering how I made the syrup.
... but honestly, you could probably use any strawberry syrup you can find and it would have a similar effect. I feel bad having somewhat of a 'special ingredient' in my drink, so while I found the syrup super easy to make (and it's lasted a couple months already) I'm not going to judge you for using something else.

Okay, now that I've taken way too much time talking, lets get to the actual drink making part!

Order of operations is as follows:

1. Add 2-3 ice cubes to your glass
2. Pour in your syrup
3. Add your gin or white rum
4. Add your Triple Sec
5. Pour in your lime juice
6. Fill glass about 3/4 full with cold water
7. Give it a little stir unless you's prefer to have a "weirdly balanced Manitoba Sunrise" instead of Official Optimism Juice.

And voila! She is complete! My summery, optimistic masterpiece. Please be advised that this drink is actually rather strong, but doesn't taste super strongly of booze, so drink it with some degree of caution.

I made the one on the right with a mix of strawberry and raspberry syrups, because I made both kinds back when I made the syrup and why the heck not. It's a pretty solid variation and I'd fully support people trying it out with other fruits and letting me know how it goes. I'd like to try it with blackberries in the summer when berries are affordable again.

P.S. Okay I realized I actually had some Grand Marnier, so I tried it out. It's still good, but I wouldn't call it similar enough to give it the Official Optimism Juice stamp, so try that one at your own risk.

Stay optimistic folks! I hope you guys enjoy it and [insert something about drinking responsibly]!

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