Friday, May 30, 2014

..good libations..

Here we sit, poised to start another summer. The kids have a couple more days of school, Rich has wrapped up his 4th year as a professor, and there are graduation parties, end of year parties, and barbeques galore.

With planned celebrations and impromptu meals alike, a special drink (or drinks) always adds a nice (and sometimes necessary) touch.

Enter: basil sugar.

I created this on a whim. I had purchased some basil at the market, and used it to make a pesto. This pesto, however, did not call for all of the basil, so I had a bit left over. What to do? Rich loves to give me a hard time about having left over odds and ends in the fridge that get overlooked, so I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction.

Fancy drinks on the brain, I wondered what a basil sugar might be like. So I, quite literally, mixed the basil leaves with sugar in the food processor. That's it. So simple. Utterly divine.

Having a mason jar full of these beautiful green-flecked crystals, I started to think of all the ways I could put this jar to work -- immediately. I bordered on obsessive, really.

Some ways that have worked:

basil sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, hendrick's gin, sparkling water

Rimming a glass for lemonade, or a variation on lemonade-adult style. 

Topping blueberry muffins. Kids were not a fan of the green on top of their muffins, but it was delicious.

Filling for a homemade pop-tart. Ricotta + basil sugar = mmmmm.

As I continue to look for other uses, this marvelous sugar is keeping just fine in the refrigerator.  I do believe my very favorite use, thus far, however, has been to rim my glass. Try adding some rhubarb syrup to a little St. Germaine, sparkling water, and a glass rimmed with basil sugar ... divine.

I urge you to give this a try, I really do. You won't be sorry.


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