Cocktail Time! · Spring Pairing

Lamb Tzatziki Burgers with a Cranberry Gin Cocktail

Spring has officially arrived, so why is there still a ton of snow on the ground in the northeastern US? Well maybe some lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce will put me in the spring time mood.

I’m choosing to pair the burgers with a cranberry cocktail. Will it helping leave the winter blues behind? Let’s find out.

The Drink: 

This was a fun drink to make, despite the cold weather. It has a little bit of bubbles, sweet and tart flavors, and herbs.

DSCN1229What you’ll need: 

  • 1 park cranberry juice
  • 1 part bubbly water (carbonated water)
  • 1 shot of gin
  • Basil ice cubes*
  •  Lime juice and lime wedge

Start by mixing your cranberry juice and bubbly water. Gently stir in the shot of gin. Squeeze in the fresh lime juice and add a lime wedge to the side of the drink. Add two or three basil ice cubes to finish.

*Basil ice cubes are made by freezing coarsely chopped basil in an ice cube tray with water. Store in a freezer storage plastic bag.

Level of Recommendation: A fresh tasting drink for the start of spring (or for when you really wish spring would just start already.)

The Food: 

What you’ll need: DSCN1228

  • 1/2 lb of ground lamb
  • Less than a 1/4 of a finely chopped white onion
  • Tomato slices
  • Tzatziki sauce
  • Red onion ring
  • Spinach
  • Bun sliced in half
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme

Mix the finely chopped white onions with the ground lamb thyme, salt, and pepper. Form your lamb burger patties in your hands so that each is about the size of your fist. Place the lamb burger patties into a large skillet (or grill) on medium to medium high heat. Flip half way through cooking. Each side should take between 5 – 10 minutes to cook, depending on how thick the burger patties are. Internal temperature should be 160 ºF.

When the lamb burger patties are finished cooking, stack on the bread buns with the tomato slices, red onion ring, spinach, and topped with tzatziki sauce.


The Pairing: 


This is a wonderfully refreshing early spring pairing. The burgers are juicy and light. The savory flavors of the burger complement the more acidic notes of the cranberry gin drink. The tzatziki sauce gives a much needed creamy element, while the basil adds a tasty kick of flavor.

Level of Recommendation: Prefect for a cool early spring day, especially if you can fire up the grill.


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