Sage Blossoms Part 2: Simple Syrup

June 18, 2012 § 8 Comments

I don’t know anything about cocktails. I’m that girl who walks up to a well-stocked bar and says “I’d like something… with lime…” I don’t know my Cointreau from my Curacao (okay, I do actually know that much). But I’d like to learn, because (1) cocktails are delicious and (2) cocktails are another way I can use my canning creations!

I never liked martinis until I made a dirty gin martini with the brine from last year’s rosemary pickled green beans. So good.

So remember how in part one when I made sage blossom jelly I said that I picked all the sage blossoms off individually instead of pruning off the entire flowering stem? Well, I’m glad I did – because the whole plant re-bloomed within a couple days! I already had enough jars of my beautiful pale pink jelly to keep me and my croissants happy for a little while, so on to new horizons: sage blossom simple syrup.

As it turns out, simple syrup is really simple. I used a basic 1:1 liquid:sugar ratio, and the same steeping technique as for the jelly. Simple syrup will keep in the fridge for quite a while according to what I read online, but my fridge has a lot of half-full jars of tasty odds and ends already. I figured if you can put up fruit preserved in simple syrup, surely you can put up simple syrup preserved in simple syrup. And now I have a secret weapon to unleash in the depths of the next New England winter: pry open a jar, and sunshine and birdsong will magically fill the world once more. Right?

2 cups sage blossoms
2 1/4 cups water
2 T lemon juice
2 cups sugar

1. Clean blossoms. Bring water to boil and pour over the blossoms in a heat-safe bowl.
2. Cry a little when the beautiful purple blossoms turn brown. (Remember this part?)
3. Add the lemon juice now. Rejoice when the blossom-water turns pink! (This part will never get old)
4. Steep overnight.
5. Strain through a jelly bag if you have it, or in my case a tea filter bag. You should have about two cups of liquid.
6. Bring the liquid and sugar to a full rolling boil. Ladle into jars with 1/8 inch headspace and process for 10 minutes.

I took a Mason jar of this to a barbecue at a friend’s house in a swanky part of town. Her backyard is an urban oasis of hanging lanterns and ivy creeping up weathered brick walls. We sat around her firepit toasting marshmallows and drinking this pale pink refresher (proportions very approximate, mix to your taste) while her giant fuzzy dog napped on our feet.

1/2 oz sage blossom simple syrup
1 oz vodka
Squeeze of lime
Splash of soda water

Shake syrup and vodka with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain into glass. Top with lime and soda water. Serve with lime wedge and giant fuzzy dog (optional but recommended).

What’s in your sage blossom syrup cocktail, and what would you name it? What are your tips for a cocktail beginner?

Sage Blossoms Part 2: Simple Syrup on Punk Domestics

Dreaming of Spring

February 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hi, welcome to our new website!  Apparently this is what happens when I go to work and leave Lester unsupervised.  Taking a brief break from talking about bunnies (okay, this post will wind up still having something to do with bunnies) to muse about spring.  Even after eight-and-a-half winters here I can still convince myself that if it’s sunny outside it might possibly not still be bitterly cold… but it takes a lot of wishful thinking.  Still, there is something right now that makes me think (or hope) that spring is not too terribly far away.  I think it helps that we have some milestones we have recently put in place for the spring – like our trips to New Orleans in March and to Paris in May!  Martha Stewart is also taunting me by sending me her March issue which is all about growing your own vegetable garden.  We are super lucky that our little cottage also has a little garden patch.  See it on the right there in the photo?  Except picture it blanketed at the moment with about two solid feet of perma-snow.  Last year, since we moved in May and had some other stuff going on at the time (like three weddings including our own, and two graduations, and a honeymoon, and starting new jobs), we didn’t get to do much advanced planning for a garden.  It was a pretty impressive jungle of morning glory vines thoroughly tangled around grass and dandelions.  Until one weekend afternoon in a fit of confidence I tore out the whole thing, scrabbling at the roots bit by bit until it lifted off in one giant mat, leaving behind two unexpected tomato vines (which didn’t survive the trauma), one unexpected tomato, and a vaguely prehistoric-looking broccoli tree that went to seed before it, um, broccolified.  We threw in a few things that made it until frost.  But THIS year is going to be different.

Here’s my wish-list:

  • tomatoes
  • more tomatoes
  • and more tomatoes
  • red peppers (no green peppers for me! it’s genetic)
  • lettuce and other greens for salads
  • bok choy? the Chinese grocery store has seed packets… and Lester kind of likes bok choy just a little bit
  • eggplant? maybe I could sneak it in without Lester noticing
  • jalapenos? maybe one little plant since we use about one every three months – too bad you can’t grow chipotles
  • garlic because it’s so much better when it’s fresh and we love us some garlic (I am after all the daughter of my “oh, let’s just add a few more cloves than the recipe calls for” mother)
  • strawberries
  • rosemary (the potted one almost died indoors over the winter)
  • bay (the potted one died indoors over the winter)
  • cilantro for homemade salsa
  • ❤ basil ❤

That’s right, I said it out loud.

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