I am so excited that it is Spring. Please reassure me it's not going to snow again so I don't impulsively buy a plane ticket to Cancun where I can suck in tropical sun and tropical cocktails until I explode into a million droplets of warm joy.
Because Felicia's likes to use raw materials in our cocktails, Spring is a critical time of year for us and for our favorite farmers at Tree Gate Farm. This weekend, I cut back the mint and oregano, and planted a bunch of rhubarb roots to meet your unquenchable demand for Rhubarb Martinis. We transformed over 20 lbs of rhubarb from Tree Gate into martinis last May! I'm feeling piggish as I reminisce, and must confess to you that I found a pound of last summer's rhubarb in the freezer yesterday and cooked it with some sugar, then proceeded to eat it all right out of the pot. Forgive me. I'm sorry I didn't share. (Okay, I'm not sorry. If I found another pound right now, I still wouldn't share it. Seriously, Rhubarb and I are monogamous.) As we dive face-first into Spring, Mixology Monday this month is hosted by Spirited Remix. Chris asked everyone to post about their all-time most amazing cocktail creation, and later this week he will put all of those cocktails on his website so head over there to check it out.
I'll be honest with you, I'm not a great cocktail maker. When it comes to our fresh philosophy, Leah is the one who you'll find in the kitchen making something unusual with coriander syrup or cucumbers or whole vanilla beans or fresh horseradish or wild ramps or lovage from a neighbor's garden. I'm more tame in the cocktail creativity category, and content to be her taste-tester.
But a couple of summers ago, I actually created one drink that I fell truly, madly, and drunkenly in love with: the Tomato Zinger. Since it requires fresh-picked cherry tomatoes, I tend to forget about it in the winter. Last week, however, Leah and I taught a cocktail class at Tompkins Cortland Community College and played a version of Chopped that we called Shaken. We asked the students to create cocktails using three required ingredients: cherry tomatoes, rosemary, and limes. All the resulting drinks were delicious, but I was left pining for summer and for another hot affair with the Tomato Zinger.
Don't tell Rhubarb I'm cheating on her.
Felicia's Tomato Zinger
5 small Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
pinch of sea salt
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
1 3/4 ounces gin
Muddle four cherry tomatoes, sea salt, honey syrup and lemon juice. Add gin and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the remaining cherry tomato.