If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you know this is my favorite time of year. I know I say that about every season but at this moment, when everything is changing by the second and brimming with possibilities, this is the time of year I love the most.
I’ve always been jealous of my artistic friends. You know, the kind of talent that can pick up a pen or paintbrush and interpret precisely what they see with ink or paint. I think I have a decent eye but my artistic gene never evolved I guess. As a kid I took art classes and enjoyed them but, like piano, I wasn’t very good. So I’m thankful that Mother Nature lets me be an artist in the garden; sculpting the land with raised beds and painting with living things.
I spend hours here. Weeding, thinking, watching Mother Nature do her thing.
Many of my recipe creations are inspired by the fruits of the garden like this Garden Salad Gin & Tonic.
In this intriguing herbaceous cocktail, gin is infused with extra virgin olive oil lending body and a grassy, fruity, and savory note to the beverage. This process is called “fat washing.” By infusing the gin in this way, the delicate nuances of the oil are left behind resulting in an unforgettable cocktail. It’s quite easy to make but plan ahead a few days to allow the flavors to combine.
- 8 ounces premium gin
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh herb leaves such as a mixture of thyme, basil, tarragon, basil, cilantro, and parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh tomato
- ¼ cup roughly chopped English cucumber
- Ice cubes
- 4 ounces tonic water
- Herb sprigs for garnish
- Combine gin and olive oil in a freezer-safe container that has a tight fitting lid. Cover and shake vigorously. Let sit at room temperature for 4 days, shaking jar occasionally. Place the container in the freezer. Once the oil has solidified, about 1 hour, pour the gin through a coffee filter to remove the fat solids and discard. Keep the infused gin chilled until ready to use.
- Place the herbs, tomato, and cucumber into a chilled tall glass and crush into a fragrant, pulpy mush with a wooden bar muddler. Fill the glass with ice cubes, 3-ounces infused gin, and tonic water. Gently stir to combine and garnish with herb sprigs.
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