Give your summer refreshments a seasonal kick with inspiration from master mixologist David Hurst.
Are you ready to amp up your thirst-quenching gameplay? From Garden to Glass: 80 Botanical Beverages Made From the Finest Fruits, Cordials, and Infusions ($15, Universe Publishing) offers a bounty of seasonal ideas. “Nonalcoholic drinks have nothing to hide behind, and must rely on the quality of their ingredients to make them shine,” says author David Hurst. “Let the beauty of nature speak for itself.”
Whether you’re growing your herbs, vegetables and fruits, or grabbing a bundle at the local farmers market, these simple tips will impress discerning palates. Add your favorite spirit for an adult-only twist.
Generally, equal amounts of sugar and water comprise basic simple syrup. Dissolve over medium heat, and it’ll keep for up to a month. For strawberry syrup, put 7 ounces hot water in a pan (don’t boil) and 1 cup of sugar. Stir until dissolved, add 2 cups of strawberries, reducing the heat for 10 minutes, then strain. Pairs well with vodka, gin or rum.
Even if your thumb isn’t green, it’s easy to grow herbs in a planter or integrating into your landscaping. Hurst pairs mint with pear juice for a spiced pear mojito (add white rum to kick it up). Thyme’s “sweet, earthy taste” and “wonderful aroma” make a unique simple syrup, paired with fresh lemon and a splash of soda and gin for extra zing.
Farm stands overflow with locally grown berries by midsummer. Combine a handful of your favorites with ginger beer and elderflower cordial for a berry blast, or kick off your morning with a kale and strawberry smoothie, blended with plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey.