Friday, March 15, 2013

gin z'herbes

it's almost 5 on a friday here and after the week we've had in casa livingawesomely, it's not strange that one's thoughts turn to cocktails. 

this one could be celebratory or sorrow-drowning, which not-coincidentally makes it perfect for a week of ups and downs in which i finally got a job (!) and our darling pug maeby had to have emergency surgery to remove the felt furniture floor-protector thing she appears to have eaten (dogs will eat the stupidest things, honestly).

luckily she's fine (staples and sad-face aside), the job will help pay for her $$$ surgery, and i don't start til monday so i can be home with her for a few days as she recuperates. i'm also extremely lucky in that the job is basically my dream position and i will be able to do a lot of good for the community while putting my legal training to good use. so, overall we're ending the week on a high note.

i'm also a bit surprised to note that the ol' herb garden is still going strong. i haven't been doing a lot of cooking over the past couple of days while the pup was in the hospital, so i've been craving green things and freshness. we already had some gin in the freezer and simple syrup (1:1 sugar:water, boil, let cool) in the fridge, so making this was a snap.

i wanted this to be extra-herby and i like a little salad in my drinks, so i just muddled mint (a couple of sprigs each of chocolate mint and orange mint), mexican tarragon, pineapple sage  basil and italian parsley in the glass with about 1 tablespoon of simple syrup. it was maybe 1/4 cup total herbs, not packed down. you can of course use whatever you have handy, but i like a mix of at least a couple of things so you get the variety of flavors - some savory, some less so.

then just add some gin (more or less a shot, depending on your week!) and fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. you could also use tonic instead, and leave out the simple syrup. but i really like not having other flavors (like bitter quinine) getting in the way of all those herbs. you could also muddle and then strain out the leaves, but as i said, i like the swampy gardeny aspect of it and i enjoy eating the different leaves as i come across them. as ever, go with your lights.

so cheers to everyone surviving this week and let's all cross our fingers that next week and the weeks after that give us some more normal old boring wonderful times to be grateful for.

*ingredients* (roughly)
1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs - mints, thyme, parsley, cilantro, basil, sage - whatever you've got
1-howevermanyyouneed shot(s) gin
1 tablespoon (or to taste) simple syrup
sparkling water to fill the glass

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