Friday, July 16, 2010

Grilled Herb Cocktails

Kate & Connie over at Kate's Kitchen challenged me to come up with a grilled herb cocktail to match the Limoncello Gin Cocktail with Grilled Thyme drink they bring to us today on their blog.

I have been making drinks using fresh herbs recently, but never grilled. What a cool challenge! I chose rosemary from my own garden and came up with two different drinks using it in its grilled form.

Here is how I grilled the rosemary. I heated up all my grill burners and then turned the one below where I placed the rosemary off to prevent burning. Grilled the sprigs of rosemary until quite fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Removed them from the grill.

I also prepared a simple syrup of 1/2 cup hot water and 1 cup sugar. I added several sprigs of grilled rosemary to to it and let it sit for a couple of hours. I strained the rosemary out and chilled the syrup before using.

Strawberry Rosemary Cooler

Rub inside of glasses with grilled rosemary.

Muddle several slices of strawberry and a few grilled rosemary leaves in the bottom of a shaker.

For each drink use: 

2 parts vodka
¼ to ½ part plain simple syrup (tune sweetness to audience)
½ part dry vermouth (e.g. Noilly & Pratt)

Shake and strain into ice filled glasses. Garnish with a rosemary sprig speared strawberry.

Grilled Rosemary Old Fashioned / Rosemary Sazerac
(this isn’t original, except for grilling the rosemary)

2 parts bourbon
1 part grilled rosemary syrup
2-4 drips of bitters (Angostura or Orange)
Wedge of orange
2 maraschino cherries

Squeeze the orange wedge into an ice filled glass. Drop wedge on top of ice. Add the bourbon, rosemary syrup and bitters. Stir to combine. Garnish with maraschinos skewered on a rosemary sprig.

The first drink tastes of spicy red pepper jam or sweet tomato tarts; it was a wonderful combination of flavors. The second one is herbed spin on a favorite classic of mine and was actually the first thing my wife said after thinking about smoky rosemary. It to, tasted great!

I ended up using some of the leftover rosemary syrup over some sliced peaches. Lots of rosemary, but sweet for breakfast.



Pam @ Sticks Forks Fingers said...

A cocktail isn't a cocktail without herbs, in my opinion. I'm not sure it understand the gist of grilling them for cocktails unless it involves smoky bourbon, so I began to understand when I saw your Sazerac idea.

Always a joy! Thanks, Jason.

Magic of Spice said...

See Jason, I told you I would be right over:) These are great, and perfect for grill parties:)

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

Love the grilled rosemary! I have a ton of it in my backyard. Just finished making a Rosemary Grape Salsa that would be perfect with your cocktails! Enjoy the weekend!

Jason Phelps said...

Pam - the Sazerac was my favorite, but it has been for some time.

Magic of Spice - that invite is open for sure. And BBQs would never again be the same...

Lisa - love the salsa idea, not a place I would have though to put it. Thank you, enjoy the weekend as well!

Thanks Everyone!


Kate said...

What a home run, Jason! We just finished dinner. It was a disappointment but the cocktails before - magnifique! Can't wait to try the one with the strawberries tomorrow! Thank you so much, Kate

Emily Malloy said...

How creative is this?!?!? Lovin' it.

Spice Sherpa said...

Lovin' this post! Grilled rosemary Old Fashioned? I spread the word on Twitter--it's just too cool for people to pass up.

Cheers. A Sante. Prost. Salut. Skol.