Full disclosure, I don’t have a science-y bone in my body. I’ve never taken a chemistry class and I flunked rocks for jocks (aka basic geology) in college. But the idea of mixing herbs or spices with alcohol and letting it steep for several weeks to create a special drink fascinates the heck out of me. So I was thrilled to open the Weekend Journal this weekend and find this article in the Off-Duty section. Go here to read it.
Writer Sarah Karnasiewicz explains why aperitifs have never really taken off in America and gives suggestions for good brands/types to try as well as cocktail recipes.
And be still my thumping heart, she also includes two recipes for creating your own blend, either a Cinque Erbe (five herbs) or a Rosolio with vanilla and peppercorn. I plan to try my
hand wand at the Cinque Erbe, which could be considered an infusion.
Karnasiewicz offers as a suggestion, using five sprigs each of spearmint, lemon thyme, thyme, lavender and rosemary. Lucky me, I’ve got everything growing in my garden except the thyme. And instead of spearmint, which I abhor, I’ll use Mojito Mint, which is everywhere because I didn’t listen to my mother last summer and plant it in a pot:) I’ll substitute something for the thyme or maybe pick some up from the farmer’s market. I don’t grow that one because I don’t particularly like to cook with it. But I love lemon thyme. You add all these herbs to V.S.O.P. brandy and let it steep. Then after a week or two you make a simple syrup and add that to the mixture and let it steep some more. But read the article for the specifics.
What do you do with the herbs your grow? Do they tend to end up in food or drink or something all together different? Have you ever created your own aperitif or infusion or potion? Do tell.