Tag Archives: cocktail

Honeysuckle Buzz – a Champagne Cocktail from the Garden

29 Jul

So one of my besties’ bridal showers was this weekend:

IMG_6367Observe – I clean up well, and enjoy wearing dresses (not just my bee suit).  Also, my dress is Rhode Island themed.  Not really.  I have always loved nautical things.

Regardless – I was in charge of games and favors (the former, I was not so excited about – the latter gave me an excuse to get crafty)…and then I put myself in charge of creating a signature cocktail for the event.  I walked out into my garden for inspiration and decided to use the last of the honeysuckle blossoms!

I remember as a little girl, walking in the woods with my mother and pulling the stamens out of honeysuckle blossoms and “drinking” the nectar, it is such a fond memory that although the vine is wildly invasive, it’s hard to think of removing it.

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The first step is creating honeysuckle simple syrup, which of course necessitates gathering up some blossoms -erring on the side of whiter rather than more yellow/orange.

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Add hot, but not boiling water to the jar (I sized up – so this is a pint jar), cover it, and let it sit for 12-24 hours.   You should *just* cover the blossoms.

IMG_0048After it’s set – strain it into a measuring cup – for every cup of water, I add 2/3 cup of honey.  You can go 1:1 and for more strongly “scented” syrups  – but I find that the honeysuckle gets lost easily with too much honey – unlike mint which can stand up to it a bit better.  Whisk the honey in until it’s dissolved – on a warm day, you shouldn’t need to add any heat to it – but if you do, you can feel free to transfer it to a pan – just DON’T LET IT BOIL!

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Et voila.  Once it’s done, transfer it to a storage container and move it to the fridge.  Cool & then shake before using!

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The Honeysuckle Buzz

Tablespoon of Honeysuckle Simple Syrup

4 ounces of Champagne

Stir with a bar spoon

Garnish with an edible flower or a honeysuckle blossom (I picked Borage for some color, but the honeysuckle adds a lovely scent)

 

Herbal Nyquil – or – the effects of Catnip on Humans

27 Jun

Once upon a time, I was a poor college student.  When Christmas time came, I didn’t know what I would do.  So I decided to make herbal neck wraps for my family that they could put into the microwave, heat up, and wear while relaxing after a hard day of whatever they were doing.

I got little bits of fabric and then did research on herbs with relaxing qualities.  Then I went to the co-op and got lavender, chamomile, and catnip – which I’d read all had said relaxing qualities.

I mixed them up in a little bowl, added wheat berries (thermal mass), and stitched up little pouches.  I even made myself one.

A few weeks after Christmas, my dad called me to ask what I had put into the wraps because whenever he or his partner used them, they felt pleasantly woozy and then fell asleep.

I wasn’t sure what could have had that effect.

Then I tried my own out – pleasant wooziness, sleep.  I’d had one with just lavender in it previously and had NOT had that issue.  Chamomile is pretty mild too, so I figured it must be the catnip…further research seemed to indicate that catnip was in fact the culprit.

Now years later, I’m delving more into Things Herbal and remembered my adventures with catnip and decided to see what else it could do.

So one night, many days ago, when I was having trouble sleeping, I tossed some fresh catnip into hot (but not boiling) water:

20130619-201840.jpgLike so.

Steeped it for 20 minutes….mixed it into what I had left of a honey mint julep (effectively creating a catnip hot toddy)…and fell asleep before I had finished drinking it.

Herbal Nyquil.

***Your Mileage May Vary***

The end.

Honey Mint Julep – the tastiest honey cocktail!

24 Jun

So I’m on vacation right now in the South and I’m scheduling a few posts, so I’m writing to you FROM THE PAST right now.

Mint Juleps are my favorite summer cocktail – they’re a no brainer when you have a mint plant in the garden that just won’t quit.  I also, no surprise, have a little honey around (not mine yet, but local and raw and tasty).  So I decided to make my own version of the classic.

First of all – Minty Honey Simple Syrup:

Fill a mason jar (or equivalent) about a third full of mint leaves.  Then 1/2-2/3 full of tap water as hot as you can get it to come out.  The rest of the space in the jar should be filled with honey!  Leave a little “headspace” in there for future shaking.  I like to stir or swirl it a little at first as it’s cooling and then close it up and give it a good shake.  I’d steep that as is for at least 20-30 minutes…get it good and minty.  Shake it occasionally.  I like to make mine the night before and then leave it in the fridge to really get good and steeped.

Next, strain all the leaves out – and combine with a good bourbon (Four Roses is my current fave) at 1 part syrup to 2 parts bourbon.  I like mine sweet!  I’ve also seen a shot an a half of bourbon to 2.5 tablespoons of syrup…but that’s too precise for my taste.

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Serve over crushed ice in a julep cup if you’ve got the gear…or regular ice in something you like drinking out of…and obviously garnish with more fresh mint.  Delish!

20130619-201820.jpgCould also be consumed IN the actual garden….it’s worth considering.

Also, today is my mother’s birthday – so feel free to raise a glass to her.  I think she’d approve.

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