In January, the Huffington Post made one particularly spot-on trend prediction in the world of cocktails – and it’s a trend that I’ve particularly enjoyed exploring as of late: herbal infusions. Food & Wine has noticed a similar trend in their 2011 cocktail guide, commending to its readers a non-alcoholic Almond-Fennel Cooler.
I’ve long been a fan of using basil in my cocktail concocting (Basil Gimlet, anyone?), and we’re all familiar with the king of herbal cocktails, the Mint Julep. It’s high time I got experimental with some herbs that are more off the beaten path in mixology, particularly as more fresh herbs are in season this summer.
Most recently, I jumped on the herbaceously trendy cocktail bandwagon with the Intimate Secretary, a pleasing blend of grapefruit vodka*, rosemary syrup, lime and club soda, at Balliceaux in Richmond. The herbal notes temper the sweetness of the syrup with eminently drinkable results.
So, how else might we meld herbs and cocktails? Taking a nod from Balliceaux, I’m eager to try my hand at other herb-infused syrups by making a basic simple syrup (bringing equal parts sugar and water to a boil, then simmering until liquid reduces by about half), adding herbs while the syrup is still hot and letting it steep while the syrup cools. What do we think about …
- Thyme Syrup + Vodka + Homemade Lemonade + Vanilla
- Lavender Syrup + Gin + Prosecco
- Cilantro Syrup + Tequila + Grapefruit + Club Soda
Miss Mojito wants to know: Have you had any success with herbaceous cocktail mixing?
*Why haven’t I tried this before? And does grapefruit-infused gin exist? Immediate investigation required.
Posted by Miss Mojito.
I have so much to comment on in this article!
First, thank you for reminding me of the glory that is the basil gimlet.
Second, have you heard there is now cupcake vodka?? Not so delicious infusion.
Third, we just planted a small herb garden this afternoon. So glad to have yet another use for the herbs. I can’t wait to make a few boozy herbal infusions!
Miss Mojito, those three options sound splendid! I have a ton of lavender that came back this year, and I didn’t know what I was going to do with it (wasn’t planning on going into the sachet business), so I’m excited to try it in a few cocktails (maybe along with the ever-popular ElderfloweLastr liqueur?).
And, of course, I can personally attest to the deliciousness and inspiration behind the Intimate Secretary *and* your Basil Gimlet.
Lastly, before I went off to Italy last fall, I sampled a few herbal Italian spirits. I bet you can adapt that Herbal Sour into something swell: