Arugula Cocktails

greenvesper-epicurious

Green Vesper from Epicurious

The arugula in my garden is going NUTS. Naturally, this means it’s time for an arugula cocktail. Arugula seems like an unusual bar ingredient, but if you think about it the peppery, slightly bitter flavor is perfect for cocktails. Here are a few to try:

Green Goddess ~ Vodka, green tea, cucumber, jalapeƱo and arugula? This drink has my attention.

Arugula Gimlet ~ Give the classic gimlet a spicy kick with some greens.

Arugula & Watermelon ~ Arugula and watermelon are a winning combination, with some gin to get the party started.

The Green Vesper ~ Arugula simple syrup and a pinch of salt make for a savory and surprising cocktail.

Arugula Pineapple Daiquiri ~ A refreshing blended drink for summer sipping.

Fresh Tomato Cocktails

tomatomartini
I have three tomato plants fully loaded with sweet summer tomatoes. I never ever get sick of fresh tomatoes, but I’m always looking for new ways to use them in food … and cocktails. Aside from the Bloody Mary, there are many other ways to drink your tomatoes. Here are some recipes for garden-fresh tomato cocktails.

La Tomatina ~ Though this gin drink shares a few ingredients with the Bloody Mary, the addition of sherry gives it a unique character.

Tomato Martini ~ This recipe offers a slightly sweet twist on the classic Martini by using tomato-infused gin and adding a splash of Lillet.

Tomato Margarita ~ Fennel salt on the rim is a nice touch for this sweet and savory summer take on the Margarita.

Tomato Gin Cobbler with Peaches and Basil ~ Peaches and basil are summer’s other amazing flavors, so it makes sense that they’d mix together so well for a refreshing summer drink.

Heirloom Tomato Mojito ~ Tequila, tomatoes, basil and a touch of balsamic vinegar transform this warm-weather classic into a whole new cocktail.

Photo by Jackson Stakeman

Rhubarb-Fennel Cocktail

rhubarbcocktailRhubarb is here! But what exactly do you do with a bunch of rhubarb? I actually think it makes a much better cocktail ingredient than baking ingredient, because of its tart grassy flavor. This cocktail goes all out with the rhubarb and a fennel-infused vodka. You can use the syrup and juice you make for this recipe in other rhubarb cocktails or get even fancier by making your own homemade rhubarb bitters.

Rhubarb-Fennel Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces fennel-infused vodka*
1 1/2 ounces rhubarb syrup**
1/3 ounce rhubarb juice
3/4 ounce lime juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for about 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Note: If you don’t have a juicer, you juice rhubarb (stalks only!) in a blender and then press through a fine-mesh strainer.

*Fennel-Infused Vodka

1 cup vodka
1 sprig fresh fennel (the greenery, not the bulb)

Let fennel steep in vodka for 24 hours. Taste to see if you’re satisfied with the flavor. If you’d like it more intense, steep for longer.

**Rhubarb Syrup

1 1/2 cups water
5 stalks rhubarb, chopped into half-inch pieces
3/4 cup cane sugar

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. The rhubarb will separate and turn into mush. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep for 10 more minutes. Strain out the solids through a fine-mesh sieve or cheese cloth. You can use the mush in baking. Keep the syrup in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Photo by Jackson Stakeman