Trowel and Fork

Bottling Spring: Elderflower Cordial

Elderflowers and Meyer Lemons

Drinks, Recipes | April 8, 2016 | By

The first time I had elderflower syrup, I was in Slovakia. My cousin offered my up some yellowish syrup and I absentmindedly agreed to a glass. My family there had always made raspberry and apple juice from the garden, but elderflower? That was new. With my first sip, I thought the heavens had opened up and filled my mouth with this delicate taste of flowers and spring. It was like gulping down perfectly sweetened bouquets. Not too floral or perfumy. I became obsessed.

Squeeze the juice of two lemons and then slice two lemons to add to the cooled sugar and water syrup.

Squeeze the juice of two lemons and then slice two lemons to add to the cooled sugar and water syrup.

Elderflowers mixed with sugar, water and lemons

Elderflowers mixed with sugar, water and lemons. Let the mixture macerate for 24-48 hours in the fridge

Strain the lemons and flowers through a cheesecloth or cotton napkin

Strain the lemons and flowers through a cheesecloth or cotton napkin

Mix the cordial with water, preferably bubbly water :)

Mix the cordial with water, preferably bubbly water 🙂

When I returned back to Los Angeles, I bought a Samdal and a Samyl pair. Finally, it’s producing enough to do a proper harvest. I’ve also discovered that the plants grow wild everywhere in Los Angeles. So keep your eyes out for them. They flower in spring, so make sure you get your foraging on early.

Elderflower Cordial
Yields 2
A simple elderflower syrup
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Ingredients
  1. 2.25 cups (532 milliliters) water
  2. 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  3. 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  4. Juice of 2 lemons
  5. 1-2 ounces (40-50 grams) elderflower heads
Instructions
  1. Cut elderflowers from a bush, but don't wash because you'll wash off the pollen, which is what makes the syrup yummy. Try to take off as much of the stems as possible. Combine the sugar and water in a pot and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature and then add the flowers, sliced lemons and the lemon juice. Let the mixture sit 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Strain through a cheesecloth into a clean glass container. Keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks or seal in a hot bath, if you want to store for longer.
Notes
  1. Pour a small amount of the cordial into a glass and mix with water, preferably bubbly water. Enjoy!
Trowel and Fork http://trowelandfork.com/

 

The Dirty Lenin: A Cocktail Worthy of a Despot

Lenin, Vladimir Il'ich,--1870-1924.

Drinks | October 25, 2015 | By

Sometimes sleep deprivation can be the source of pure, indisputable genius. As my sister worked a nightshift, she sent me a photo of the linen closet in her call room. 

FullSizeRender“Great argument for learning how to spell. I am just glad I don’t get the dirty Lenin,” she texted.

She’s so right. Vladimir Lenin, head of the Bolsheviks, was a brutal dictator. You certainly wouldn’t want to be in a hospital saving lives at 3 a.m. and then be insulted with the dirty version of a mass murderer in a room that already looks a lot like a jail cell.

To me, the unfortunate spelling error sounded a lot like a cocktail. So, we came up with the Dirty Lenin: a cross between a White Russian and a Dirty Martini. A drink, so pioneering, it’s worthy of Sandra Lee’s Cocktail Time. I’m sure, we’ll be ghostwriting cocktail recipes for New York’s Semi-First Lady before we know it.

The Dirty Lenin: A cocktail worthy of a despot
A cross between a Dirty Martini and a White Russian Warning: Consume at your own risk
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Ingredients
  1. 1 part Kahlúa
  2. 1 part vodka
  3. 1 part gin
  4. 1 part half and half
  5. 1 part olive juice
  6. A splash of vermouth in the glass
  7. Dill for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add Kahlúa, vodka, gin, half and half and olive juice. Swirl the vermouth in a chilled martini glass and strain the cocktail into glass. Garnish with a sprig of dill.
Trowel and Fork http://trowelandfork.com/
Best served cold with a slice of Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa Cake. Please send photos, if you actually make this. If you try it and actually enjoy it, I’ll send you a set of Lenin matryoshka dolls.
Lenin and co. Nesting dolls