Mark - the gracious host of Cardiff Cocktails - really challenged me this month with his theme for Mixology Monday: Witches' Garden.
In his announcement post he asked us to raid our herb garden. I really wanted to, but a long harsh winter has left me with a herb garden that looks more like the suburbs of Tjernobyl than anything else.
On the other hand I've spend most of this week slowly savoring my way through Amy Stewart's amazing book The Drunken Botanist, and that meant I had to rise to the occasion - or rather my herb garden had to.
What had survived was some sage and some balsam herb. And nothing can kill rhubarb so I had that too.
The kind of balsam I have is the one that has a camphor-like smell and taste - another one taste and smells more like camomile. I love things that taste like harsh medicine so that's fine by me.
It's a very interesting herb with a long history and diverse usage from tea to place making in Bibles.
I made a very simple syrup out of some rhubarb, sugar, star anise and a tiny bit of water and cooled that of. Meanwhile I had time for some homemade salted almonds - just cook the almonds for about 5 minutes in quite salted water - I used 2 teaspoons for 10 cl of water - and then dry them in the oven.
The Balmy Rhubarb has a mezcal base and is an egg white cocktail.
- 6 cl Mezcal - I used Illegal Mezcal Joven
- 3 cl rhubarb syrup
- 1,5 cl lime juice
- 6 leafs of balsam herb
- 1/2 egg white
- 2 dashes strawberry balsam bitters
Strain into cocktail coupe (you could double strain but I kind of like tiny bits of herbs in my drinks) add bitter and garnish with a balsam herb leaf - or a pretty edible flower. I found a tiny colony of blooming chives growing on my patio.
Enjoy - and thanks for making be work and think Mark!