You Can Lead a Horticulture, But You Can’t Make Her Drink*
Past years I’ve stuck to planting shrubs, trees and other perennials in the yard, but frankly the upkeep is pretty tedious. I’m not into tedious. However, I figured that a few pots filled with herbs should be manageable even for me. Oh, and a Topsy Turvy strawberry planter because my kids can’t pass one on the street without yelling, “Topsy Turvy! Topsy Turvy! You should get one, Mom!” Buying a few strawberry plants seemed like better parenting than duct tape as a gag.
Who knows if my “garden” will bring forth cocktail bounty? I will admit it has been very satisfying to wander to the patio to pick the mint, lemon thyme, basil or cilantro called for in my recipe books. Soon I should be able to try out some pineapple mint, orange mint, thai basil and sage, too.
In the meantime, here is a great recipe that utilizes the cilantro, as well as the blackberries that are poised to take over in my region. My friend Dee calls the Yerba Mora, “bright and lovely.” Funny, that’s how I describe Dee, too.
Yerba Mora (created by mixologist Joaquin Simo)5 cilantro leaves 5 blackberries, plus 3 blackberries skewered on a pick for garnish Ice 2 ounces blanco tequila 1/2 ounce green Chartreuse Dash of absinthe 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water, shaken to mix)
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 5 blackberries. Add ice and all of the remaining ingredients except the skewered blackberries and shake well. Strain (a small fine-mesh sieve is handy to catch the blackberry seeds) into an ice-filled highball glass and garnish with the skewered blackberries (optional).
The Chartreuse is an appealing liqueur and one of the finds that I’ve been happiest about discovering. I have the green Chartreuse called for in the Yerba Mora, but there is a also a yellow (and therefore not actually chartreuse) Chartreuse that is sweeter. Monks in France have been making it for centuries, which suddenly make monks seem far more interesting. It has also made my liquor cabinet more interesting.
*This headline – slightly tweaked – is courtesy of writer Dorothy Parker’s quote, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”