Nothing says spring like ramps- that delicious wild cousin of the leek that combines the taste of onions and garlic. I love pickled ramps, and I also love how pickled ramps taste in a good gin martini.
The classic Gibson is a martini garnished with a pickled olive. This version substitutes a pickled ramp. And it’s fantastic! Home pickling ramps is actually very easy. I like using a brine made of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seed, and bay leaves.
We celebrated Bastille Day with this classic cocktail. The Vesper, popularized by Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale, uses Lillet Blanc and gin. I used Plymouth Gin, which is very clean and doesn’t disturb the taste of the Lillet.
Ingredients: 3 parts Lillet Blanc, 1 part Plymouth Gin, orange twist (optional)
Combine Lillet and gin in a shaker with ice. Shake it up! Serve in a martini glass with orange twist. Enjoy!
What could be better for a Friday night on the porch than a mint julep (especially if it’s made with mint from the garden!)
Ingredients: 2 jiggers Rye or Bourbon (I know the Kentuckians out there will protest, but I really love Rye!), 10 mint leaves, 2 sugar cubes, one teaspoon of granulated sugar, or an ounce of simple syrup. Mint sprig for garnish.
IMPORTANT: Crushed ice (yes, you have to use crushed ice).
Combine mint and sugar in a julep, highball, or double old-fashioned glass. Muddle the mint and sugar until you have dissolved the sugar and released the smell of the mint.
Add Rye or Bourbon and fill the glass with crushed ice. Stir.