Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bitter About Flowers

Welcome to Mixology Monday! Okay, you caught me. Today is actually Tuesday. I waited until the eleventh hour to write my post, and then company showed up and we drank a bottle of 2009 Cotes Du Rhone instead. As a result, my writing skills rapidly deteriorated into giggles and yawns. Hazelnut coffee in hand, I begin my belated post a day late and a bottle of wine lighter.

Hosted by Dave at The Barman Cometh, this month's Mxmo topic is floral cocktails. Rhubarb is NOT a flower, so despite the fact that I just picked fifteen pounds of it and will start shaking up Rhubarb Martinis at the Lounge tonight, rhubarb is not what I am going to write about.

I am also not going to write about violets, though I spent an hour picking them yesterday. They are destined to become violet syrup, and eventually a blueish cocktail of some sort.

And I'm not writing about the exploding purple lilacs in my yard. Stunning and tasty as they are, for now I'm simply going to snort them, and maybe float a few in a drink as garnish.

Instead, the topic of my post is lavender bitters. Leah started making her own bitters a few summers ago: orange bitters, coffee bitters, lavender bitters and soon: rhubarb bitters. Usually I don't like lavender in my beverages because I feel like I'm drinking massage oil or lotion, but the lavender scent dances gracefully with the already floral essence of gin, turning an everyday drink into a culinary delicacy.

When it comes to the commercial stuff, I'm bitter about bitters: There is absolutely no reason to include the artificial and potentially harmful caramel color (Peychaud's, Fee Brothers, Angostura), Red #40 (Peychaud's, Fee Brothers), or Yellow #6 (Fee Brothers). And bitters that are chemically produced in a factory down the street from you are NOT "locavore." You drive me crazy when you buy a bottle of mass-produced bitters from the Super Walmart and proclaim them "locavore." You want locavore? I'll give you locavore upside your head. Bring it on.

As soon as we mow the lawn, plant mint, stack the wood, fix the windows, replace the ice machine, build new porch benches, install stair lighting, repair the brick steps, and clean out the gutters, we're going to start bottling our own bitters. Get ready: we're bitter and we can make it better.

In the meantime, you can dream about this lavender gin and tonic, but if you want to taste it, you'll have to come to Felicia's:

Lavender Gin and Tonic

1.5 ounces gin
2 dashes of lavender bitters

Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add gin and bitters. Top with tonic. I know, you don't have our lavender bitters - yet. Bookmark this page, drop by to stack some wood, and give us a few months.

Save the date! Rapture Party 5/21/11 from 6pm-close at Felicia's Atomic Lounge. I'll be live twittering the rapture, too. Follow me on twitter at @ameliasauter