Monday, August 11, 2008
Mixology Monday: Sage Riesling Cocktail
Felicia writes about a lot of different cocktails, but this month’s theme is right up her outdoor seating in the alley. Today’s Mixology Monday is hosted at Save the Drinkers! and the topic is Local Flavor. Last summer, Felicia started concocting a series of Farmer’s Market Cocktails and has previously written about drinks containing beets, basil, strawberries, cucumbers, mint and the crowd favorite, rhubarb.
When challenged to pick an ingredient that Ithaca is known for, Felicia faced a tough choice. We have a wealth of amazing organic farmers in this region, with tons of juicy blueberries, apples, tomatoes, corn and just about any other fresh produce that your imbibing heart desires. Felicia decided to turn her attention to local wines. If you have ever been wine tasting in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, then you know that the best wine made in this area is Riesling. With a tendency toward peach and apricot notes, our local Rieslings also have a hint of lively citrus and well-balanced acidity.
Felicia got her grubby little mad scientist hands on an outstanding bottle of Bloomer Creek Riesling and decided to give it a makeover, against the advice of her peers. Leah, head cocktail artist at Felicia's Atomic Lounge, was convinced. “Riesling and sage are going to totally kick ass together,” she insisted. “Yeah, right,” we all said. “You’re crazy.”
We were surprised and thrilled at the final product. We laughed, we cried, we drank it twice. The Sage Riesling Cocktail (subsequently featured on the PBS show “New York Wine and Table”) is one of the best drinks that Leah has ever created. Felicia says there is a fine line between brilliance and insanity. Leah just says, “I told you so.”
The Sage Riesling Cocktail can be muddled, or if you are heading to an outdoor concert at Taughannock State Park, throw all the ingredients into a thermos and let them steep together for an hour or so before drinking. This is one of those cocktails that makes wine snobs cringe – that is, until they taste it. If you are a doubter, then you must try it. Like bacon-infused bourbon, don’t knock it til ya drunk it.
Sage Riesling Cocktail
4 ounces Riesling
8 small fresh sage leaves
½ ounce simple syrup (more or less depending on the sweetness of the Riesling)
½ slice of lemon
Johnny jump up or other edible flower
Rip up the sage and muddle it with simple syrup and lemon. Add Riesling and shake with ice. Strain into a martini glass (there will be some little bits of sage remaining in the cocktail). Garnish with a flower.