Posts Tagged ‘herbs’

Lovage Walnut Pesto

Lovage is the only useful plant that survives the neglect of my patio. I’m truly grateful for this and always looking for different ways to incorporate its abundance into my cooking. Tonight i came up with a truly great combination – a lovage walnut pesto. They have such complimentary profiles it’s crazy.

Here’s the recipe:
2 charred poblanos peeles
2 garlic cloves
handful of walnuts
two nice bushy sprigs of tender lovage
zest of one lime
a splash of lime juice
whizzed in a food processor; with 1/3 cup of your precious olive oil added at the end.


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Love Unit 405

My variation on the Ryan Magarian’s Love Unit theme resulted in a truly great concoction: after careful consideration of different basic formulas i modified his recipe using yellow bell pepper instead of red, creme de cacao instead of vanilla rum, changing some ratios and skipping sugar syrup altogether – creme de cacao is sweet enough…
Now i never met a creme de cacao cocktail i didn’t like but this one came out truly amazing! And so harmonious, each of the ingredients contributing to the final complexity of the drink. You can probably discern their flavors only if being told of the contents.

* 3 yellow bell pepper rings, sliced 1/4 inch thick
* 4 basil leaves
* 2 oz white rum (Havana Club is amazing)
* 1 oz creme de cacao
* 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
* 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice

1. In a cocktail shaker gently muddle two bell pepper rings and 3 basil leaves. Add remaining ingredients. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously until very cold.
2. Pour drink through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Float a basil leaf atop drink. Balance a bell pepper ring on rim of glass.

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Tarragon Snap-Pea irinha!

As one might notice i’m into unusual ingredients in cocktails. And what can be more unusual than snap peas! Introducing tarragon snap-pea irinha: a smart riff on caipirinha:

The original recipe didn’t call for any herbs but to me pea just called for either mint (classic) or tarragon. Here is my formula but all credit for the initial idea goes to very talented mixologist Adam Seger!

1 lime cut in eighths, center pith discarded
¼ cup spring snap peas plus couple for garnish
1/2 oz agave nectar
1.5 ounces Hendricks gin
small sprig of tarragon and one more for garnish
Crushed ice
Cracked black pepper

In a heavy rocks glass, muddle lime, snap peas and tarragon sprig until pods are crushed and limes juicy. Add agave syrup and gin. Fill with ice and stir. Finish with fresh cracked pepper.

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Sangre de Frambuesa

Still in a state of fascination with basil-flavored drinks.
Also a sudden urge to use some raspberry vinegar (artisanal no less!), half-empty bottle of it collecting the dust in my pantry (well, how many beet salads one can make).
The point of departure was Sangre de Fresa from the excellent Art of the Bar book. And it worked like a charm!

5 raspberries, two lemon wedges, 5 basil leaves, tsp of sugar, 1/2 oz vinegar, 1.5 oz tequila blanco, 1/2 oz Cointreau, splash of lemon juice. Over the crushed ice in a pilsner glass, topped with soda.

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Backyard Delight

ok so the truth is that lovage is not the only herb that survives in my backyard – basil does well too and here’s the proof:

now somewhere along the way i got tired of basil as a ubiquitous salad herb: that’s why it was such a relief to discover its great flavor value in cocktails!
I’ve mentioned rum-based Companero in some previous post and plan to play with the recipe soon but tonight i mixed another drink.
Its main appeal (besides the basil) was an opportunity to finally use a hibiscus-rose infused vodka i made sometime ago while being on a serious infusion spree.

Quite savory, and i’m surprised again how well basil matches sweet flavors (like rose in this case or cacao before).
And now i have a hope for my infusion – it seems working with orange as well as herbs flavors. Something to think about – i have almost 500ml of this stuff 🙂

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I’m a poor gardener: and the only plant that hasn’t failed me is lovage. It comes back year after year, just begging to be used more.
So here’s to you lovage!

A simple gin and tonic base. Dash of Peychaud bitters. A muddled celery stalk. Lovage straw adds its subtle anise/celery flavor. Quite an elegant drink.

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Kamikaze Sunrise

i can’t bring myself using vodka in cocktails; there are so many interesting base spirits out there that vodka seems like a waste… I know – empty canvas and stuff, but my palette (pun not intended) is limited…
So i worked from the classical kamikaze formula but made it with tequila. And some lemon thyme.

nice but i should stop serving everything on the rocks, this one is a definite Up – it’s a burst… like kamikaze.

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