Tuesday, August 23, 2011

To Drink

I keep forgetting that I have an herb garden at my disposal this year and I should be thinking about how to preserve herbs, too! I plan to clean out my mint at the end of the season and dry it for tea. But, for now, I just harvested a bundle to make a batch of spearmint simple syrup.

It is seriously easy to make. Take 1 part water, 1 part sugar and bunch of cleaned mint and put it together in a saucepan. Gently boil it for a bit. Then, take it off of the heat and let it sit until it is cooled and as minty as you want it to be.

Strain it, label it, bottle it and store it in your fridge. I plan to use mine mixed with seltzer water and in mixed drinks. I'll definitely be using this the next time I have a mojito craving. I've already poured a bit over some cut up papaya and that was tasty, too!

Last year we made a lot of pickles. A LOT. So, this year I am looking for other things to make with cucumbers (hence the relish). I've been curious about agua fresca and figured cucumber was a good place to start. I busted out my jelly bag hanging thingie for the first time and put the pureed pulp in there to drip drip drip while I took Jack on a walk. Luckily, unlike with jelly, it is ok to squeeze the bag. The squeezing was necessary because the drip was a very slow drip.

After all of the water dripped out of the cucumber puree, I mixed in lime juice and sugar, to taste. You can stop there and drink it over ice or with a splash of seltzer.

Or, if you want to get really fancy, you can shake it up with ice and vodka and have yourself a martini!

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