During this time of year, I tend to use a lot more herbs in my cooking. Rosemary is usually something people associate with summer, but I think it’s one of the best fall flavors.
One of my favorite drinks (year-round) is a Gin & Tonic. It’s simple, refreshing, and better than a kick in the crotch. Never in my life have I ever made an infused liquor or simple syrup, so I thought that now would be a better time than any to give it a try.
Gin is a really old liquor that dates back to the 16th century. I was created by a chemist who was trying to make a medicine that would cleanse the blood in patients that were suffering from kidney disorders. It was originally named “genièvre” which is the French word for Juniper, from where it get’s its predominant flavor. It was later shortened to Gin. Other flavors that make up gin are coriander, citrus, and various spices.
My normal pick is either Tanqueray or Bombay Sapphire. Recently I was doing some shopping at my local health food store and came across a gin made by Sound Spirits. Their Ebb + Flow Gin is made using an old English recipe from the 1850’s. They make all their spirits one slow batch at a time for smoothness. They were the first distillery in Seattle since the Prohibition. This gin has a really bright and citrus aroma that makes it super refreshing. It’s smooth taste makes it good enough to sip and makes a stellar Gin & Tonic.
To make your own infused liquor is ridiculously easy. All it takes is an idea and some time.
Rosemary Infused Gin
Makes about 1/2 liter
2 cups good quality Gin
4-5 sprigs organic Rosemary
Rinse rosemary and place in a clean, airtight, glass container. Pour gin over rosemary and seal container. Place in a dark and cool place and let sit for 3-5 days, it may gain a green tint from the herbs. After such time, remove sprigs and strain with a fine mesh strainer. Place back into glass container.
Another great staple to have during the fall is a simple syrup made by boiling and steeping rosemary. It takes no time at all, and is great in cocktails and used as a light glaze on any baked goods you might thing it would pair with. In this case I make a Gin & Tonic.
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Yields about 1 1/2 cup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 sprigs organic Rosemary
In a medium saucepan, bring all 3 ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat for one minute. Afterwards, remove from heat and let it sit for 1/2 hour. With a fine mesh strainer, strain syrup into a clean container and refrigerate for 4 hours before using. Syrup will thicken as it cools. This will stay good in your fridge for about 1 month.
With syrup, you want to add about 1/2 ounce to your drink. I’m not big on drinks with a lot of added sugar, so my preference is to use the Rosemary Infused Gin.
First and foremost, enjoy responsibly. Most of all, enjoy in good company!