Spice Rack Challenge(s): Mint and Basil

So I missed June’s challenge (mint) and almost missed this month’s challenge (basil) to boot. Bad, neglectful blogger. We’ve been in the thick of heat waves here in the Northeast, with maybe a day or two of temporary relief in between. Correlation? Causation? Who knows.

In any case, I’ve only had one thing on the brain. After a long walk to a roasting car at the end of a long workday – you know the ones where you can literally see the heat lines radiating off the pavement – what else? A cold drink, naturally. Adult beverages or otherwise, I’ve been craving fruity, bubbly refreshment at all times. They vary widely different depending on the day, but most of them follow the theme of fruit + ice + bubbles + maybe herbs + maybe booze. As you saw in the last post a Cherry Lime Rickey variation has been a favorite of late.  Here are my other two.

Blueberry Basil Ginger Chiller
Three tablespoons of blueberry butter (a la Marisa at Food in Jars)
Ginger Ale
Siam Basil (spicier than its Italian cousin)
Crystallized Ginger

Easy peasy: Spoon the bluberry butter into your glassware of choice. A pint jar, a pint glass, a quart jar… I won’t tell. Add your basil and chopped ginger, and muddle until fragrant – a great stress reliever after work, if need be. Add ice, top with ginger ale.

I’ve kept this one sans booze, but I think a little vodka would work well in this one.

Pineapple Mint Peach Rum Fizz
Three tablespoons of peach jam
One large sprig pineapple mint
One ounce Kraken Spiced Rum
Ginger Ale

Same method as above: spoon jam into a jar, add mint and muddle, add rum, add ice and top with ginger ale. Also tasty without rum, but a bit of grade B maple syrup would work well in its stead. Try not to relax with one of these in your hand. I dare you.

➝If you make jam, your options are endless. If you don’t make jam, there’s no time like the present to start! If ‘ hot to turn on the stove, maybe an infusion, maceration, cordial or syrup is up your alley?
➝Try a shrub. Its got a vinegar tang, for a little something unexpected.
➝New flavor combinations: raspberry + tequila, meyer lemon marmalade + vodka + rosemary, or maybe something savory like tomato jam + vodka + chives + seltzer/tonic? Could be interesting. Share other ideas in the comments.

Oh, and can someone please tell me when this heat is supposed to let up? It’s getting a little melty in Snowflake Kitchen. Til then, I’ll tide myself over with these.

3 Responses to Spice Rack Challenge(s): Mint and Basil

  1. Mary says:

    Definitely have to give these a try–like I said in my Challenge post, I’m not much of a drinker (and neither is my husband), so these are some great options. And fruit/basil combos I would never have thought of! Great post!

  2. Steph says:

    I’m definately going to try these when summer rolls around here. I like shrubs and am trying to find alternatives to store bought drinks, especially in summer ’cause the water is atrocious here. Thanks

  3. Tricia says:

    Interesting use of jams – I’ve been getting pineapple mint from my CSA, so I might have to try the second one next week!

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