Italian greyhound with rosemary sugar

Gin and Grapefruit with Rosemary

It’s pretty close to a new season, when there’s not much better than lingering with a cocktail at the end of the day, celebrating the return of warm sun and longer days.

It also means that dinner gets cooked and eaten later than usual, but that’s all part of getting into summer mode. I stock up on chilled rosé for summer drinking, but every once in a while I like to start the night (or afternoon. Ahem) off with something a little lighter in alcohol.

A few weeks ago, Molly of Orangette wrote about a pretty salmon-colored drink she liked that included the liqueur Aperol, a brand of Italian bitters very much like Campari.

That drink, a Pamplemousse, is mixed with fresh grapefruit juice and white wine. But it reminded me how refreshing grapefruit juice can be in a cocktail, especially with gin in a warm weather drink, blended into Salty Dogs or Greyhounds.

After a short search around my local liquor stores, I rounded up a bottle of Aperol. As much as I love a simple Campari and soda with lime, Aperol might be even better to my taste. It’s not quite as bitter and has a tiny bit more sweetness and more complex hints of herbal-citrus flavors.

Rosemary Sugar

I made my Italian Greyhound and embellished it a little by rimming the glass with rosemary sugar – easily made in a mini food processor or spice grinder: 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary and 1/4 cup sugar.

Italian Greyhound Cocktail with Rosemary Sugar

I love, love, love this drink! It makes me appreciate gin – a spirit I don’t usually drink- all those herbs, roots and botanicals get along so nicely together and it’s dangerously thirst-quenching.

Italian Greyhound with Rosemary Sugar

Yield: makes one drink

Ingredients

    Rosemary Sugar
  1. 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 -2 ounces gin (depending on the time of day)
  4. 4 ounces freshly squeezed pink or red grapefruit juice
  5. Splash Aperol

Instructions

  1. Combine the rosemary and sugar.
  2. Rub the edge of a glass on a wedge of fresh citrus - grapefruit would be perfect. Put some of the rosemary sugar on a plate and rim the glass.
  3. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add the gin and juice, and top with a splash or two of Aperol.
  4. Swirl or stir gently - enjoy.
http://familystylefood.com/2011/04/italian-greyhound-with-rosemary-sugar/

Weekend Herb Blogging: Lavender Lemonade

Herbal Refreshment

In my front-door herb garden, my lavender plants are in the starring role right now — you can smell the blooms from across the street!

I’ve been noticing lots of recipes for lavender that are intriguing me (rubs, panna cottas, roasted chickens and shortbread cookies), but time is of the essence, and today is hot.

I saw this recipe in the August issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray (She’s everywhere!) and made up a batch. It has a nice undertone of lavender and seems to be a perfect partner with lemon.

Susan at FoodBlogga is hosting Weekend Herb Blogging this week. Go on over and check out what’s growing and cooking.

Lavender Lemonade
adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

7 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons fresh lavender flower buds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Pour 3 cups of the water over the lavender in a heat-proof bowl; let steep 15 minutes. Pour remaining water over sugar in another large heat-proof bowl and stir until dissolved.

Strain lavender mixture and pour into a pitcher along with water and lemon juice. Chill.

Serve over ice with a lavender sprig.

Beautiful Bins of Lavender at the Portland Farmer’s Market

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