Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Coriander in a Cocktail

Making cocktails with locally grown ingredients is a challenge throughout the winter and early spring. Even if you have a root cellar or a freezer that was filled with the bounty of last summer’s harvest, by the end of April you have probably gone through all of it.

As we hunted for inspiration for this week’s cocktail, we found a ball jar filled with coriander in the back of the cupboard. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. Every summer, I let our cilantro bolt to bloom its pretty little white flowers and subsequently go to seed. In September, I pull up the dead plants and save the dried seeds that did not fall to the ground.

We don't typically cook with coriander so those darn seeds get composted the following fall when I harvest new seeds that I am sure I will use this time.

And this time, we used them. Coriander adds a subtle, aromatic essence to a classic vodka martini. If you do not have any coriander, this cocktail designed by Leah Houghtaling is currently available at both Simply Red Bistro at Sheldrake Point and at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge.

Coriander Martini

3 ounces coriander-infused vodka (see below)
1/4 ounce dry white wine (like Simply White from Sheldrake Vineyards)
twist of orange peel

Shake infused vodka and white wine with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with orange twist.

To make coriander-infused vodka:

1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 liter bottle of vodka (we used Svedka)

Place coriander and vodka into a large glass jar and let sit 24 hours. Remove coriander seeds with a sieve and crush them with mortar and pestle (not food processor). Return crushed seeds to vodka for an additional 48 hours.

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