This summer, Eric took it upon himself to manage our “urban garden”, three large planters that sat in front of our apartment building (there was no room, or sunlight, in the back). It was a fun activity of both of us. It gave him a project for him to work on and I was given access to fresh, homegrown ingredients whenever I wanted them.
And, for the first few months, it was a huge success.
But then, after a weekend on the Cape, we came home to find the leaves on the tomato plants shriveled up. The only explanation we could come up with was that they had gotten blight.
And that was the end of our flourishing garden.
Except for one thing: the herbs, which included basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, and lavender, were still hanging to
The herbs are still sitting outside in the pots and we are doing our best to find unique ways to use them. Some have made their way into a variety of meals, but others have gone into baked good or have been bottled with olive oil.
But then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to infuse some alcohol too? As much as we enjoy wine, Eric and I are cocktail people. With beer and wine, you are limited on what you can do with them to alter their flavor. Certainly pairing them with food can effect how they taste. What’s so enjoyable about making cocktails, however, are the endless possibilities for what can be included.
Rosemary lends itself well to both savory and sweet pairings, which is what lead me to make a batch of rosemary infused vodka. Mix that with some lemon juice and a splash of tonic or use it to make a batch of Bloody Marys the next time you host brunch.
I wanted to add that this was my gift for one lucky attendee (it turned out to be the wonderful writer/photographer of Lemons and Anchovies) of the 2nd Annual FoodBuzz Blogger Festival, which was held this past weekend in San Francisco. She will be posting a cocktail containing the rosemary vodka on her site in the next week or so, but, in the meantime, I highly suggest taking a look at her lovely blog.
Rosemary Infused Vodka
3 sprigs of organic rosemary, 5-6 inches in length
In a large jar or jug, add the rosemary. Pour in the vodka, cover, and let sit for 3-5 days. After the first day, try the vodka. Within a few days, it will take on the flavor of the rosemary.
Place a colander over a metal bowl and layer that with cheesecloth. Pour the vodka over the cheesecloth, which will separate the rosemary from the liquid.
Pour the vodka back into the container and cover.
Rosemary Vodka and Tonic
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 oz rosemary vodka (or more, if you like it stronger)
3-5 oz tonic (or more, if you put in too much vodka)
1 rosemary sprig, for garnish (optional)
Pour vodka and lemon juice over ice, top off with tonic. Garnish with rosemary sprig.