Okay, it’s the middle of winter, but we can dream, right? This year, the nice people at Territorial Seeds and Log House Plants asked me to pick out a few of my favorite cocktail-friendly plants. We got a little carried away, and the result is the Drunken Botanist Plant Collection. We gathered up all the herbs, flowers, fruits and vegetables that a mixologist’s garden would require. I’ll be posting recipes, videos, photos, and growing advice in the months to come as well.
You’ll find the plant collections in West Coast garden centers supplied by Log House Plants as well. (check their site for a list of participating retailers.) We had a lot of fun putting them together: in addition to offering the plants individually, we gathered them into collections by spirit. We came up with great titles like the Old Havana Rum Garden and the Heart of Agave Tequila Garden, then put together some plants and recipes to match. So we’ve got collections organized around rum, tequila, gin, vodka, and whiskey, and a sixth collection designed just for making botanical simple syrups.
Territorial’s taking orders now, and seed shipments can go out over the winter, but live plants will be shipped later. Check their website for shipping details. The garden centers supplied by Log House will have the collections for sale starting in April.
Okay! Have fun with that. There’s not much growing in anyone’s garden right now, but here’s a mid-winter drink you can make with dried chamomile while you wait for the fresh stuff to bloom.
Chamomile Hot Toddy
1-2 oz whiskey
1-2 oz honey-chamomile syrup (see note)
Note: Make honey-chamomile syrup by combining equal parts honey and hot water. Add fresh (or dried) chamomile blossoms and allow to steep for 1 hour, then strain.
Pour hot water into a heat-proof glass. While you wait for it to heat the glass, press cloves into the rind of the lemon wedge and set aside. Empty the glass and coat the inside with syrup, then add the whiskey and top with hot water. Squeeze the lemon into the drink and drop it into the glass.