Did you know that every single beer, wine and spirit you see sitting on the shelf at your favorite bar or market was derived from some species of plant life? Author, Amy Stewart, proves it in her New York Times Bestseller, The Drunken Botanist.
This book covers everything you need, or could ever want, to know about the beverages we all love so much—it’s essentially an encyclopedia of all the various plants distillers use to produce alcohol; the herbs, spices and flowers bartenders use to create cocktails; and then an array of delectable botanical mixers and garnishes.
There is an abundance of information in this book, and there is no doubt you’ll encounter some surprising facts about what’s in your glass—like did you know that vodka was distilled from grains? Anyone who loves plants, herbs and flowers, and well, drinks, will most likely love learning how they can all work together.
This book inspired us to make our own cocktail using ingredients from the garden—the cardamom rose cocktail–a perfect choice to go with your Thanksgiving dinner.
Rose is one of the loveliest flowers we know, and has a delicate rose flavor perfect for mixing. Rose water is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in cocktails. It makes for a healthy drink as well as flavorful, containing antioxidants and essential vitamins, like A, B3, C, D and E, and is also considered to be a natural mood enhancer.
This cocktail also includes the savory spice, cardamom, which Stewart says has been found to be useful for reducing stress (another bonus to adding it to your cocktail). Cardamom flavors a range of drinks and can either be made into a simple syrup or muddled, which is how it is incorporated into the drink below. To muddle means to mash at the bottom of a glass or cocktail shaker with a muddler or a wooden spoon.
Try out this cool cocktail recipe:
Cardamom Rose Cocktail:
1.5 oz of Hendrick’s gin (this is a rose & cucumber infused gin)
.75 oz of rose water syrup
.25 oz of fresh lemon juice
.75 oz of fresh grapefruit juice (ruby red preferably)
2 dashes of Peychauds bitters
1 cardamom pod
1) Lightly muddle 1 cardamom pod at the bottom of shaker (not too much muddling or it will overpower the drink)
2) Add the rest of the ingredients
3) Add ice
4) Shake for 20 seconds
5) Strain over fresh ice to remove the cardamom pod
6) Add a splash of seltzer water
7) Garnish with rose petals or fresh lemon wedge (use organic if possible)
Whether preparing cocktails for a holiday party, or enjoying a cool beverage after a long day, try experimenting with some fresh flowers, fruits, plants or herbs. Or, at least consider where the alcohol you are drinking may have started. Share with us your ideas for incorporating plant life into drinks—after all, “gardeners are the ultimate mixologists,” says Stewart.