There is an hour just before dark, when the garden resents interference. Its work,no less then the gardener’s , is done. Do not meddle with the garden at that hour.
It was a rather delightful book to read this one, Gardener’s nightcap by Muriel Stuart, in that it is pleasant mix of actual advice, anecdotes and opinions. It is meant to be read a little at a time, every evening, to calm the soul.
My gardening skills are few. I have learned to keep edible things alive( it is in my interest!) and have also come to terms with my own nature. Some things don’t need a lot of attention and those sorts of plants are the kind I buy. Luckily orchids and pelargoniums are both pretty and hardy. Mint is something I love in salads and cocktails, and it grown like weeds. Most herbs are easy actually. I’ve even managed to cultivate basil!
This book is a bit of a trifle but is probably enjoyable to most. Hard to come by would be the biggest drawback. But it did inspire a cocktail. You can read more about the book here.
Partly it was the name. But also all the talk of roses and herbs. I do love floral cocktails. With roses in particular.
Rosewatersyrup is something I use in a lot of my cocktails so do pay attention.
How to make rosewatersyrup;
-Use the cheap rosewater from the supermarket. This is not the time to splurge on Santa Maria Novella or similar. This will make a rather rich syrup and that’s the point.
-Pour the rosewater (ca 2,5 dl) into a saucepan and bring to the boil on medium heat.
-Remove from the heat.
-Add 4 dl of caster suger and stir until dissolved. Let cool a bit and then pour into a clean bottle.
-This will last ca 2 weeks in the fridge.
From this it is onwards to the cocktail which ended up being influenced by the Martinez (but then again; that is one of my favorite cocktails).
The Gardener’s nightcap; yields 1 cocktail
5 cl gin(preferably Hendrick’s but I shan’t be mad if you use another)
3 cl dry vermouth (when I say dry vermouth I mean Noilly Prat. No, Really I insist!)
1,5 cl rosewater syrup(see above)
1 dash of Fee Brothers Rhubarb bitters(possibly replaced with a dash of Angostura and a dash of rhubarb cordial)
1 dash of sloe gin (can be excluded if not available. but the cocktail won’t be as nice)
sprig of rosemary
- Stir the ingredients in a stirring glass full of ice until chilled.
- Pour into the cocktail glass and garnish with the rosemary sprig.
- Enjoy responsibly!
It is as simple as that. Tending to the bar cart is so much easier then cultivating the garden. Although possibly not as good for neither soul nor body…