"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Limoncello and Mint Sparkler from Gourmet Today

Summer is here, really here this time! Now is the moment to enjoy the summery foods and drinks you've been waiting for all year. Cold soups! Awesome salads! Grilled stuff! And of course--summery cocktails!

My friend Ben has more wonderful attributes than I can count. He loves to bake sourdough. He has a beautiful tenor voice. He's a genius. Also, he makes limoncello that he shares with his friend Melissa.

Ben makes limoncello because it's a family thing. His grandmother (lucky grandmother!) has a lemon tree in her back yard. Her limoncello is of course superior to all others, but Ben tries to replicate it--and since I've never had his grandmother's limoncello, I can't tell the difference and think his is awesome.

What is limoncello? How do you make it? It's one of those delayed gratification things--the best limoncello takes the better part of a year. Simply put, it's vodka + lemon peels + sugar + time.

What can you do with this lovely nectar? Here's one idea: Limoncello and Mint Sparklers!

Take 2 cups of fresh mint leaves and two cups of limoncello

and put them together

Encourage their relationship by mooshing them around a bit with a wooden spoon and leave them in peace for an hour.

Then strain out the mint leaves and add a cup of fresh lemon juice. At this point you can put the whole thing in a pitcher and add soda water (for these proportions, 6 cups) or you can do what I did and pack up the limoncello/mint/lemon juice concoction and take it to work to share with friends.

Wait! Before you think I'm one of those people who drink at work I will say actually you're right but only on Beer Friday, which is a company-sanctioned party every Friday at 4:30! What a clever way to keep your employees from leaving at noon on Friday, no?

So I served Limoncello and Mint Sparklers at my desk, complete with lemon and mint garnishes. They did not look like that pretty picture up top because all we had was paper coffee cups.

They were delicious! A note: if you are one of those folks who likes to taste and feel the alcohol you're drinking, you will be suspicious of this drink. It's a stealth cocktail, but trust me, the booze is in there. If you're at work I don't suggest drinking more than one, unless you are doing something with the potential for amusement, like giving a powerpoint presentation.

Thanks to Grey Goose Vodka for the image grab.