Posts made in December, 2012

Talking Botany & Booze with Imbibe Magazine

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 in Media | Comments Off on Talking Botany & Booze with Imbibe Magazine

Had a nice chat with the people at Imbibe Magazine for their Jan/Feb 2013 issue.  I’ve been a fan of Imbibe for years–as soon as I found out about them, I got the longest subscription I possibly could and ordered every back issue.  Great stuff.  If you don’t read the magazine already, you should.  Oh, and here’s the interview.

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Chamomile Hot Toddy

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 in Drink This, Recipes | Comments Off on Chamomile Hot Toddy

Chamomile Hot Toddy 1-2 oz whiskey 1-2 oz honey-chamomile syrup (see note) Lemon wedge 6-8 cloves 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.

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Have a Drink in the Garden

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 in Botany, Featured | 1 comment

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...

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Cocktails, Tree Bark, and Good Malaria Medicine

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 in Botany, Media | Comments Off on Cocktails, Tree Bark, and Good Malaria Medicine

Cocktails and malaria, my two favorite subjects.  Had a nice chat with the NPR blog The Salt about the many ways we drink our medicine, event today.  Check it out here.

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Grow Your Own: The Old Havana Rum Garden Collection

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 in Drunken Botanist Plant Collection | Comments Off on Grow Your Own: The Old Havana Rum Garden Collection

Is it summer yet?  My friends at Log House Plants have put together a collection of plants based around the flavors in rum. They’re a wholesale nursery, so they’re growing the plants for sale at retail garden centers and gourmet grocery stores on the West Coast.  Look for them in your local indie garden center/grocery store, or order them online from the Territorial Seed Company, who has joined in this effort and put together a great collection of cocktail-friendly plants and seeds.     Here’s what’s in our Old Havana Rum Garden collection: Alpine strawberry ‘Golden...

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Posted on Dec 15, 2012 in Plant This | Comments Off on Plums

Wild, European hedgerow plums are making a comeback in the cocktail world.  Averell Damson Gin, made from a blue damson plum like Blues Jam, is a fantastic cocktail ingredient and a very good dessert liqueur all by itself.  Greenhook Ginsmiths in Brooklyn is making a Beach Plum Gin using Long Island beach plums, probably Prunus maritima.  In addition to damsons, Europeans make liqueur from mirabelle and gage plums, all of which are available stateside as well. Don’t expect the large, sweet plums we eat in California:  these are smaller, more tart, and just perfect for soaking in booze....

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Posted on Dec 15, 2012 in Plant This | 1 comment

Cherries.  Our neighbors to the north in Oregon have spent the last century and a half turning cherry growing into an industry. We should take advantage of their expertise and grow our own.  Look for dwarf varieties that could easily be covered in bird netting if you find yourself competing for the harvest. Garden centers often sell grafted “combo” trees with three or four varieties growing from the same trunk.  Sounds weird, but it’s really smart: you’ll get a longer harvest season that way. The best cocktail cherries are dark, sour varieties, also called tart or pie cherries. ...

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Posted on Dec 15, 2012 in Plant This | 1 comment

These trees hate cold, rainy springs, which is why you don’t see people growing them on the North Coast where I live. But there are two new varieties, Puget Gold and Harglow, that have been bred to tolerate Pacific Northwest weather, so look for those if you are longing for your own apricot tree. Most are self-fertile, so you won’t have to buy two. Apricots soaked in brandy can be a marvelous thing, but even more marvelous is amaretto, made not from almonds but from the almond-like pits of sweet apricots.  Most apricots grown in the United States are bitter-pit varieties, and you can’t...

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Posted on Dec 15, 2012 in Plant This | Comments Off on Apples

Apples.  Before you head to the garden center, make sure you have a reasonably sunny spot to plant a tree, and take a look around your neighborhood.  Are there actually apple trees everywhere now that you’re paying attention?  Check the alleys, peek over fences, scan for little red blobs still attached to bare branches. If you’ve got a lot of trees around, you might be able to get away with only planting one tree.  Otherwise, apple trees need a mate in order to set fruit. But don’t panic! If you’re short on space, you can plant two trees in the same hole and they’ll grow...

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Orchard in a Bottle

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 in Botany, Featured | Comments Off on Orchard in a Bottle

Fruit trees?  Cocktails?  Of course! It’s bare root season, which is to say that you’re going to be digging around in a tub of dirt at the garden center pretty soon and pulling out gnarly masses of roots and twigs. They may not look glamorous, but trust me – bare root plants are both economical and vigorous. Just be ready to plant them as soon as you get home, and keep the roots covered in damp potting soil until they go in the ground. Apples.  Before you head to the garden center, make sure you have a reasonably sunny spot to plant a tree, and take a look around your...

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