Herb-infused drinks are a big part of the recent renaissance in cocktail culture. This lemonade drink is über refreshing and simple to make (if you don’t mind squeezing a lot of lemons). The base is a simple syrup made with equal parts lemon juice and sugar, and infused with fresh sprigs of rosemary. Letting it steep overnight will add an extra punch of fresh rosemary flavor.
We went to a beautiful wedding in Malibu Canyon recently and the catering was done by The Paella Project. The food was delicious and it was such a treat to see the huge pans of paella bubbling over a wood-fire during the cocktail hour. I came away with several ideas for hors d’oeuvres. They had an ingenious way of passing caprese appetizers: halve a large cherry tomato, stuff it with burrata, and drizzle with pesto. They also made these mini fig crostini that I just had to copy.
Rosemary Lemonade with Vodka
makes 8 cocktails
1 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 10 lemons)
1 cup sugar
3 8-inch rosemary sprigs
club soda, chilled
rosemary sprigs for garnish
1. Combine lemon juice, sugar and rosemary sprigs in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Then reduce heat and simmer for two minutes. Cool completely, about one hour. If you can, chill overnight with the rosemary sprigs. If not, remove the rosemary and continue.
2. Fill glasses with ice. Pour 2 oz of vodka in each glass. Pour 2 tblsp of simple syrup in each cocktail. Top off with soda water and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
Blue Cheese and Fig Crostini
rosemary raisin crackers (like Raincoast crisps)
creamy gorgonzola cheese
dried black mission figs, halved
fresh mint leaves
1. Spread each cracker with blue cheese. Top with a half of a fig and one mint leaf.