Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Latest drinks column for the Washington Post: Summer Produce in Cocktails

This was a fun one to write, even if recipe testing did result in a red pepper blender incident that made our kitchen look like an abattoir.
Tippling in the Garden
As a longtime renter, I have yet to invest in a garden. Honestly, my history with plants isn’t great. I often apologize to leafy gifts: “Look, amaryllis, let’s be honest. This is not going to end well for you.” We remember to care for our dog primarily because she is a beagle, a breed that — if left unfed for an hour — releases a sound with all the restraint and politesse of Internet commenters discussing Obamacare.
Still, in summer I start entertaining gardening fantasies, a rich dirt-rotica worthy of “50 Shades of Green.” They reached a fever pitch as I read Amy Stewart’s “The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks,” most of which focuses on the botanical origins of ready-to-drink alcohols: the grapes, the hops, the wheat. The last segment, though, gets DIY. “Gardeners are the ultimate mixologists,” Stewart writes. “Even the most ordinary vegetable patch yields the mixers and garnishes that make remarkable drinks: It is nothing for a gardener to produce lemon verbena, rose geranium blossoms, sweet yellow tomatoes, and deep red stalks of heirloom celery.”
Read the rest here.

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