Posts Tagged ‘vodka’

To make the infusion:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • about 20 leaves fresh sage, roughly chopped

Cook sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a simmer and add the sage leaves, stirring it into the sugar water. Cook a few minutes longer and turn off the heat. Allow the leaves to steep until the syrup cools a bit. Strain out sage leaves and decant into a container to place in the refrigerator. Add a shot of vodka to help preserve the syrup.

OK, now what to do with it? Here’s what! My ‘take’ on a lovely elixir — ‘Belladonna’ — once served at The Columbus Inn in Wilmington, Delaware…

Combine all ingredients (except seltzer) into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until well chilled. Pour in highball glass filled with ice; garnish with lemon twist.

She’s deadly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Makes one cocktail.


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Yesterday, after attending the Philadelphia Flower Show, my husband took me to Parc, a French bistro in¬†Rittenhouse Square, for a wonderful lunch. On the menu was a cocktail called ‘Basilic’ (pron. baz-ill-LEEK!) with the noted ingredients: Smirnoff Citrus, elderflower liqueur, basil, and cucumber.

A childhood friend, Ramona, introduced me to a very similar cocktail several years ago. Accompanying the recipe, she included this observation: “this is what ‘green’ tastes like”. And so it was that I fell in love with St. Germain:¬†a delightfully floral, herbal liqueur made from alpine elderberry flowers hand-plucked, tucked into burlap sacks, and brought down from the mountains by bicycle. As you can imagine, only a limited number of bottles are prepared each year.

But I digress.

But wait! There’s more!

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Pepper-infused vodka.

This morning (yes, this morning), I was thinking I’d like to start writing about my adventures with cocktail hour. Wasn’t sure where to begin, when I was greeted this afternoon by an email from an old friend to whom I’d given some of my spicy pepper-infused vodka when he was here for dinner not long ago. If I do say so myself, I was very pleased with the result: it was a bit like being maced by the police, but you could taste the actual peppers involved (so it was not just a painful experience; there was pleasure there as well).

But wait! There’s more!

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