Sunday, July 28, 2013

Anise Hyssop Julep

I decided to tryout a new made up cocktail for Mixology Monday (Hey cocktail virgin). {heres the roundup of all the drinks that month, linked ultra late..}The theme was flip flop, in which you substitute one or two ingredients in a cocktail recipe and make a new drink. This was appealing because I had just picked some herbs from the garden (and chard but it didn't cross my mind to make a drink with that.) This summer was the first time I truly appreciated both Mint Juleps and Mojitos. Last week I made a Gin Basil Smash for the first time, and it was so good. And I have so many herbs growing!

One of the odder herbs we have around various gardens in Kensington is Anise Hyssop. They all came from the Frankford Garden, its in the mint family and reproduces prolifically. It grows out of cracks in my sidewalk now, with the marigolds, and the violets, and the strawberries. It is native to the great plains region of the U.S. and was used medicinal by Native Americans, although it doesn't seem to hold great importance in their pharmacopoeia.

It tastes like a sweet fennel and makes great tasting tea. It is good in blends and by itself. I think most of the mint family (Lamacieae) plants combine well with true mint and this got me thinking about Mint Juleps. I tried, earlier in the summer when my mint was sparse, to make a Julep with Lemon Balm and it was crap. Not this time....

Anise Hyssop Julep

3 oz Bourbon
2 oz Simple syrup (1:1 <cane sugar>)
3 stalks of Anise Hyssop
ice cube tray of ice crushed in a blender

Take a few leaves of Anise Hyssop off of the stalks. Muddle gently in the bottom of a Collins glass. Fill glass 3/4 with crushed ice. Add whiskey and syrup. (1 oz syrup much if you don't like sweet things but I think it goes nicely with the herb and offsets the strong amount of booze in the drink) Stir until glass is frosted. Top with more crushed ice. Insert herb and a short straw, so you smell a face full of herb every sip. Don't forget to eat dinner.

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