I know it's a little out of my normal posting schedule, but I wanted to share this non-alcoholic cocktail I came up with the other day. To be honest, I was sure how it would turn out. My oldest son (who sampled it with me) both were pleasantly surprised by its bright, refreshing flavor. Interestingly enough, it doesn't use lemons.
My wife and I planted a garden for the first time this year. One of the plants my wife bought was a lemon verbena plan. She didn't know what it was, she just like its lemony smell. I've been trying to figure out what to do with it ever since.
Last Friday I picked up some of my favorite ginger beer. It's a little pricey so I don't buy it that often, and I'm pretty jealous about it when I do. With the lemon verbena in the garden, ginger beer in the fridge, and a mind as organized as a tornado in Kansas, I realized I had the makings of a pretty good drink. I just had to think like a bartender.
Keep in mind that this isn't native to my trains of thought. Mixed alcoholic drinks are forbidden as far as LDS folks are concerned. Why they're called mixed drinks is a mystery to me. Heck, I like mixing Sprite and Kool-Aid, is that a mixed drink?
Anyway, if you have access to some lemon verbena, or some other similar herb, give this one a shot.
Er ... not a shot. Never mind.
Ingredients (all measurements are approximate)
2 small leaves lemon verbena
1/3 cup ice cubes
2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons water
1 bottle of ginger beer
Drop the ice cubes into a large plastic or metal glass, or use a cocktail shaker. Tear up two leaves of lemon verbena, removing the stem portion. Add the sugar and water. Using a large metal spoon or a pestle, crush the ice and stir it all together until the sugar mostly dissolves. The idea is to let the ice and sugar bruise and batter the lemon verbena to get the oils to come out.
Transfer to a tall glass and slowly pour in about half the ginger beer. Stir and enjoy. Garnish with a slice of lemon, if you want to, for extra lemony flavor and fun. (I didn't like the taste of the leaves, themselves, so I left them stuck to the inside of the glass while I was drinking.)
You should have enough ginger beer left to make another one for your sweetie.