This month we will concentrate a bit on herbs and strawberries. Strawberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Herbs are always in good supply. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are in a drought. Pairing cucumber with a ghost pepper tequila may surprise you, but it is refreshing, bright, bubbly with a hint of heat on your lips. It will cool you off!
I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.
So here we are again… Gardening season, spring, our bodies are starting to wake up and lean towards the warmth of the sun- FINALLY! With that we start up our Thirsty Thursdays again. May brings the beginning of many flavors. This week we highlight Basil, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Blueberries and Lemon Verbena.
I LOVE the summer heat and a cool refreshing cocktail. What says cool more than a cucumber? Certainly not the back side of your pillow! Yes, cucumber is the theme this month along with crisp soda water, lemonade and my favorite; lemongrass. Here are the recipes for Thirsty Thursday :
2 shots Hendrick’s Gin
1 Large handful of ice cubes, plus more for each glass
8-10 large leaves of Thai basil cut into chiffonade, plus two stems for garnish
12-14 slices of English/Persian cucumbers (8 for shaker)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 can San Pellegrino orange soda
Add a handful of ice, gin, basil chiffonade, 8 slices of cucumber, and lemon juice to a shaker. Shake vigorously.
Add a few cubes of ice to two glasses. Pour half of the San Pellegrino into each glass, and top with half the icy strained goodness from the shaker. Garnish with a sprig of thai basil and a few slices of cucumber. Admire, then stir, sip, and be cooled! Continue reading “July_2017 Thirsty Thursday Cocktails”
Basil likes it hot, so wait to plant it until the daytime temperatures are above 70 degrees and night temperatures STAY above 50. Any chill will cause the leaves to blacken and curl.
Basil needs rich organic well drained soil, and basil loves the sun. To harvest, take off whole stems by pinching just above any pair of leaves further down the plant. Another key tip is to pinch off any flowers- this helps promote more growth.
Basil is best used fresh, but any extra that you have can be set inside a vase with water for a week or so. You can also preserve through freezing in ice cubes.
Use Basil to:
BUST STRESS: Add some basil leaves to your bath along with Epsom salt to help you relax.
SOOTHE YOUR STOMACH: For digestion, steep three or four basil leaves in a cup of boiling water. Drink in between meals throughout the day.
ENHANCE BUTTER: Place 1/4 cup finely chopped basil, 1 clove of chopped garlic and 1 stick of salted butter in a bowl. Stir until combined. Place on wax paper, roll into a cylinder and refrigerate.
KICK UP YOUR COCKTAIL: Make a simple syrup by combining 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar and a handful of basil leaves in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, pull from heat and let cool. Strain, refrigerate syrup for up to a week/10 days. You could also muddle basil to release the oils then add your favorite mixers…
BATTLE AGAINST BITES: Rub a drop of basil oil or leaf on a bug bite to get rid of the itch.
Here are the following drink/cocktail recipes we will be serving up at Scenic Roots on July 28th, 2016 for Thirsty Thursdays. Remember the Garden Center will be open from 5:30-7:00 pm to sample cocktails inspired and made right from your gardens and for you to shop at will 😉 This is a FREE event!
• Ripe seedless watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes (about 3-4 cups)
• 2 limes, juiced
• 4 ounces good quality white tequila
• 2 ounces orange flavored liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
• Ice (2-3 cups)
• lime, for glass rimming and garnish (optional)
• course sea salt
• simple syrup (optional)
Rub lime around rim of glasses and dip in sea salt.
Fill half a blender with the cubed watermelon. Add about 2 cups ice. Add the tequila, liqueur, and lime juice. Blend until watermelon is pureed & the ice is crushed.
Fill salt rimmed glasses with ice, pour the margarita over and garnish with lime (if desired). If your watermelon is not particularly sweet you can add some simple syrup, or superfine sugar to the blender.
• 1.5 oz Hendricks’ Gin
• .5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liquer
• 3-4 chucks of cucumber
• 2-3 sprigs basil
• ¼ lemon
• Club Soda
• Basil leaf for garnish
Squeeze lemon into cocktail shaker and combine all ingredients except the club soda. Muddle cucumber and basil, then add ice, shake, and strain into a tall, skinny Collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda and add garnish.
• One big handful of fresh lavender. Can be stems, leaves and flowers.
• 4 lemons
• Frozen concentrate of lemonade or limeade
Place lavender and cut slices of lemons into bottom of big serving pitcher and pile half a bag of ice onto top of lavender. This crushes the lavender and releases the oil. Let melt over night. Add lemonade concentrate the next morning and mix with water per instructions on can. Add water to taste. Serve over ice.