Saturday, July 16, 2011

Great Expectations

Now I know what the Israelites felt like when they ran across that manna. Or being on a walk and running across a windfall of apples in an old orchard.

All I'd done was deliver a couple of dozen eggs and some raspberries to my friend Linda. We were chatting when she suddenly crosssed to her refrigerator and said, "You've got to try this!" and pulled out a big jar that glowed golden in the afternoon light pouring into her kitchen.

She unscrewed the lid and held it up. I inhaled and my head was filled with the sweet bouquet of tropical flowers and citrus. Turned out it was elderflower syrup that she'd made from flowers gathered at Ayers Creek Farm the week before. She poured some of the golden liquid into a small jar and handed it to me.

On the drive home my thoughts turned to (no surprise here) the cocktails we could make with it. A little research indicated it would pair well with a dry London-style gin, and mint seemed like it might counterpoint the syrup's heavy sweetness. Dave thought a technique we'd used with a drink called a Cooperstown might be appropriate, that is, wiping the inside of the glass with a mint leaf to give just a whisper of its flavor.

I think he's onto something here:

Newly Minted

2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. elderflower syrup
Dry vermouth
2 mint leaves

Chill a martini glass.

Pour a splash (approx. 1 tsp. or less) dry vermouth into chilled glass. Place 1 mint leaf in glass and rub mint leaf and vermouth around inside. Discard mint leaf and vermouth.

Fill mixing glass (mixing pitcher) 1/2 full of ice. Add gin and elderflower syrup and stir 30 seconds. Strain into prepared martini glass. Garnish with second mint leaf.

See this recipe for making the elderflower syrup and another cocktail.

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