Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lovage Cocktail

The first time that I ever heard of lovage, I was dining at Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca Lake; Dano was growing lovage in his restaurant’s herb garden. I had no idea what the heck lovage was, besides tall and green. Later that spring, someone brought a bunch of lovage stalks to Felicia’s with the suggestion that we use them as Bloody Mary straws, since they are hollow and taste like celery. And we did. That same generous person delivered a large amount of lovage to the lounge again this year. This time, we decided to infuse this perennial herb.

Because vodka is flavorless, we chose it as the base for our infusion. I added a pound of chopped lovage minus the leaves to two bottles of vodka and let it sit for about five days. The result is a clean, mild, celery-flavored vodka. Now we have to figure out what to do with it. Suggestions?

Besides lovage’s obvious use as a base for a Bloody Mary, Leah created a less labor intensive drink, the Lovage Spritzer. Light and refreshing, the Lovage Spritzer is a fizzy drink that tastes like a springtime garden, though not like my garden, which only tastes like mint. And bunnies.

Lovage Spritzer

1 ½ ounce lovage-infused vodka
Lime wedge*

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add lovage-infused vodka and top with Sprite. Garnish with lime wedge.*

*Note the absence of the lime wedge in the photo above. That's because we sacrificed 1, 287 limes this past weekend to the making of mojitos and caipirinhas. Curse you, labor intensive drinks!

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