Spring is in the air—and in the glass. If you’re outside in many areas of the South right now, it just smells good. Jasmine, mint, rose, honeysuckle, and more are scenting the air, and if they smell good, many times they taste wonderful too. Flower/herb-infused concoctions naturally combine with lighter liquors and bright citrus, and since some of the main ingredients might be growing just outside your door, sourcing is easy.
Julia McElroy of Grand Isle Restaurant in New Orleans is concocting drinks with housemade infusions from the restaurant’s on-site garden. Vodka is a wonderful spirit for infusions as it is ideally a neutral base upon which to build.
“Infusions can be easy to make at home,” she says. “For a grapefruit-oregano vodka, add the peel from 1 grapefruit plus uncut segments, and about 3 sprigs of oregano (roughly 3 inches long each) per liter. It would be fine for a 750-milliliter bottle, too. I let it steep for about 2 days, then strain everything out.”
And then give it a “bizzare twist” with Breckenridge Bitter, which lends a bittersweet depth as an aperitif addition.
from Julia McElroy of Grand Isle Restaurant, New Orleans, LA