It’s been a while since my last post, and as you can see I’ve jumped ship at Blogger and have finally splurged on an official URL and opted for a more minimal, contemporary theme. In addition to the new look, it’s also a new month which means putting on the thinking cap for this month’s Mixology Monday theme. Mark Holmes, the progenitor of the wonderful cocktail blog, Cardiff Cocktails, is the anointed host of May, and his theme builds upon last month’s vegetable medley and challenges us to raid your local grocer or backyard garden for your favorite herb(s) and brew up some tasty potions for his Witches’ Garden theme. Here is a quick excerpt from Mark himself on his thoughts:
“As far back as we can look, the use of fresh herbs have been prevalent in the world of mixed drinks. From the early days of the julep, through Williams Terrington’s 19th century Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks, to Don the Beachcomber’s ahead of their time Tiki drinks, fresh herbs have always been at the forefront of mixology. So lets take influence from the bartenders that once ruled the world of mixology, raid your herb garden that too often gets neglected, and start mixing. I don’t want to put too many limits on this theme so get as creative as you please, want to use roots, spices or beans as well? Sure thing. Want to make your own herbal infusions or tinctures? Sounds wonderful.”
Lucky for me this month’s theme will actually be a quick brainstorm as I already had a recipe completed for my specialty menu which coincidentally used some fresh basil and a wonderfully flavorful green tea syrup. I crafted my recipe after a classic smash style cocktail which usually involves mint, and reached for some fresh basil instead. Using gin as my base spirit, I wanted to do a Asian inspired smash with a blend of spice, fresh herb and complex green tea flavors. Perfect for a warm summer day, which we have amazingly been getting quite a bit as of late here in the Pacific Northwest.
Green Tea & Basil Smash
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur
1 oz Green Tea Syrup
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Lavender Bitters
2 slices of Cucumber
3 or 4 Fresh Basil Leaves
Tear the basil and muddle with cucumber in a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients into the mixing tin with ice. Shake hard and fine strain into an iced double rocks glass. Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy.
Color: Bright yellow with a faint green tint
Flavor: Botanical gin with bright basil, ginger, citrus, tea and cucumber
Texture: Silky, smooth and easy drinking
Green Tea Syrup
1 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbs Loose Leaf Green Tea
Combine ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to steep and cool for 1 hour. Fine strain, bottle and refrigerate.