Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Herbal Cocktails, basil, rosemary etc...and a bit of my bootleg family history

My Basil is growing and I can't wait to make some of these. This year I am growing TONS of plants in my herb garden because I ran out of Pesto in March from my freezer and I don't want to run out again. It's absolutely my favorite herb. (do I say that a lot, about other herbs too lol)
My herb garden is my focus this year.  I will surely help hubby with the vegetable garden, but this year, my herb garden is my baby.

6-10 opal basil leaves
½ tsp turbinado sugar
2 oz Ketel One Vodka (or generic of course)
½ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
Basil for garnish
Muddle basil with sugar in the bottom of a pint glass.  In a shaker, add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup and shake over ice. Strain into basil mixture and add ice. Slap a few basil leaves in the palm of your hand to release fragrant oils and use to garnish.

Women Don't Perspire, They Glisten

8 basil leaves
1 sugar cube
2 thin slices jalapeño
2 oz silver tequila
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz lime juice
½ oz orange liquor
¾ oz agave nectar
basil for garnish
Muddle basil, sugar and jalapeno into a "pesto".  combine with remaining ingredients.  Shake, double strain into glass and top off with a chiffonade of basil. This link takes you to you tube to watch a gal chiffonade some basil for those who don't know what that means.  You can also garnish it with a jalapeño or drop one in to add heat.

Basil Berry
3 de-stemmed strawberries
2 lemon slices
3 leaves of flat basil
½ oz simple syrup
2 oz Ketel One Vodka (or generic)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
champagneor sparkling wine, to taste
Strawberry for garnish
Muddle strawberries, lemon and basil.  Put into a tall collins glass over ice, add  vodka, simple syrup, and lemond juice and stir. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine. Garnish glass with a fresh strawberry.
Watermelon Verbena Sangria
1 bottle of light, non-oaky wine such as torrontes
1 seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed
¼ c rum
¼ c Cointreau
¼ c brandy
Simple syrup, to taste
1 can Sprite
1 lemon, juiced
1 bunch of lemon verbena, for garnish
In a pitcher, add wine, watermelon, rum, cointreau, and brandy. Let steep for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator.  When ready to serve, add simple syrup to taste. Pour over ice. Slap lemon verbena to release the fragrance and oils and garnish each glass.

The Herban Elixar
½ oz rosemary simple syrup (see below)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz gin
1 oz green charteuse
 Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Rosemary Simple Syrup
makes about 2 cups
1 c water
½ c sugar
3 sprigs rosemary
zest of 2 lemons
Bring water to a boil, add all ingredients and turn off heat.
Let sit for 20 minutes and strain into airtight container and refrigerate.

The Zephyr
3 slices cucumber
3 sage leaves
Simple syrup, to taste
gin, to taste
Muddle cucumber, sage and simple syrup. Put mixture in a rocks glass with ice, top with gin.

Strawberry Rhubarb Punch
serves 6-8
4 foot long stalks, rhubarb, rough chopped
½ c sugar
1 c water
8 large strawberries, halved
6 oz fresh grapefruit juice
6 oz fresh orange juice
2 oz fresh lime juice
6 oz dark rum
splash bitters (optional)
fresh strawberries for ganish
Place rhubarb, sugar, water and strawberries in a small pan. Simmer until rhubarb dissolves. Put in blender and puree.  Cool.  Add rest of ingredients and 2 cups ice to blender. Blend, pour into a pitcher and serve. Garnish each glass with a fresh strawberry.

Oh here is a simple syrup recipe if you don't know how to make it.

I found these in the Pennsylvania Official WINE and SPIRITS Quarterly.  Its a publication that Pennsylvania;s Liquor Control Board puts out with recipes and info on restaurants in our state. PA is the largest purchaser of wine and liquor in the US and second largest in the world, after Ontario.

Per Wikipedia...The PLCB holds monopolist rights to the distribution of all wines and hard liquor in the commonwealth. To this end, the agency owns and operates Wine & Spirits retail locations, commonly referred to as "state stores," in all 67 counties. Some counties have only one or two stores. This government corporation is the largest purchaser of wine and liquor in the United States and second in the world after the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, which operates in a slightly more populous Canadian province. Wine & Spirits stores were allowed to conduct business on Sundays starting in February 2003 through the enactment of Act 212 of 2002, approved by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in December 2002.

Enough boring you! lol.  We in PA can't just get a bottle of booze anywhere, we have to go to the "state store".

My great grandfather was a bootlegger. I found this out and thought it was so neat (I know, it was not legal but hey, its neat to find out stuff like this about family history.)  I was told, he owned a speakeasy and there are three sinks in a bar.  One to wash, and two to rinse...the third rinse in his speakeasy was filled with moonshine.  He would wash the glasses, and in his third "rinse" would dip into the moonshine and then fill the glass with the really low alcohol beer that was legally sold..making his beer strong.  Here is the newspaper article from when he was arrested. If you click the link, it takes you to the full article that is larger for viewing.  He was a wealthy guy...and now I know why lol. 
Dec. 20, 1929 Reading Eagle article

1 comment:

Sam Aliie said...

Herbal cocktails? Interesting! I'll try this one out with my margarita maker and do my own version.