This week I’m joining Annette Cottrell of Sustainable Eats to talk about botanicals, and more specifically, herbs. And not just herbs, but herbs in cocktails! Which pretty much makes them super-herbs in my book.
I was excited when Annette asked me to do an herbal boozy post. Summer is upon us (even in Seattle) and once I tentatively pull the sandals out for the first time, I am all about the cocktails. What is in season? What can I put that in? What booze might work best? Syrups! Boozy infusions!
I am following along, albeit passively, in the Urban Farm Challenge with Sustainable Eats. Designed to be done at your own pace and level of involvement, it is a year of changes you can make regardless of your starting knowledge and resource points. We’ve done soil building, home dairy, gardening, and foraging- all of which you can recap here. There are plenty of cool things left to come, including: winter gardening, seed saving, bartering, preserving, and more. You can join in at anytime so even if you haven’t been participating, you still can!
One of the things I love about The Urban Farm Handbook (written by Annette Cottrell and Joshua McNichol) is how steps are broken down into manageable bits so anyone can effect change in their life. The year-long internet challenge is equally manageable. I did a full review of the book here, so if you want to know more about this amazing book (and how rockin’ I think Annette is) give it a read.
June has been about Botanicals. I am an equally opportunity herb lover, so took a look around the garden to see what was growing in abundance. Mint, thyme, and rosemary stood out. Not able to decide, I worked with all of them.
- 1 oz tequila
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1 oz strawberry-thyme simple syrup (*recipe below)
- thyme sprigs, to garnish
- Pour ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake it up!
- Rim your chosen glass with salt, if you chose. I do not chose. (Unless I’m having a Local Kitchen Rhubarbarita, and then I love them rimmed with salt and cinnamon. It is divine.)
- Pour it in a glass.
- Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
- Bottoms up. Makes 1. I like to make a bunch in a jar ahead of time when we are with friends. (Full disclosure: the Ladyfriend is actually the household bartender. I’m the finder of drink ideas. She is the real magic maker.)
Strawberry-Thyme Simple Syrup
I vary the sugar-to-water ratio in my simple syrups according to how tart the added flavor is, how tart or sweet I want the final product, impulse, whim, or even perhaps the phase of the moon. Experiment and see what you like. You can always add more sugar if you have a big sweet tooth.
- 2 cups of strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
- ~6 sprigs of fresh picked thyme (I’ll add more next go-around for a more pronounced thyme flavor)
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- Place all ingredients in pan and bring to boil.
- Reduce to simmer, add thyme, and allow to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or so.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Strain in fine mesh sieve and save solids/fruit pulp to use in a buttermilk cake, quick bread, pancakes or muffins.
- Refrigerate syrup until needed.
Soapbox Moment: To anyone that might have voted to privatize liquor sales in Washington state, I hope that you are flogging yourself about now. That $19.95 bottle of booze is now running about $27-28. Did you really need to be able to buy your feed-lot meat, your chlorine-laced tampons, your chemical-laden convenience “food”, and vodka all that the same store? Really? Seriously? Why? Why? Why? No bullshit about wanting government out of alcohol. The government is involved in all kinds of things (roads, fire, police, women’s health, and love to name a few) that you likely don’t even think about. And, when is it EVER a good idea to vote for something heavily backed by a corporation? (Answer? Never.) And now you are surprised that the prices went up? A corporation will not back something unless it stands to make a shit ton of money. A shit ton of YOUR money. Period.
Whew. Got that off my chest. Stay tuned for more herbal booziness coming up this week because I have a few more killer herbal cocktails to share with you.
Like herbal cocktails? You might like a Cucumber Mint Gimlet (I did!)