Floral Park loves our cocktail nights. You tell my neighbors there’s going to be cocktails and they come out in droves. Our most recent cocktail night was done in connection with our Garden Swap, and this one was themed Garden Cocktails on the Plantation. Sue & Ashley hosted a “spirit-ed” evening in their beautiful backyard and invited our neighborly mixologists to create cocktails inspired by their own gardens.
Why the plantation? Well, I think Scarlett & Rhett would be quite comfortable in this stunning home, don’t you? It was built the same year that Gone with the Wind was released (1939)! In addition, Sue is a founding member of our garden swap and she and Ashley have turned their backyard garden into quite the productive plantation. Garden goodies contributed to the swap included kale, chard, zucchini, guava, lemons, avocados, as well as homemade basil oil, rosemary oil, and herb butter. With all these goodies, Scarlett would surely proclaim, As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.
The cocktail contributions included:
- Peach & Balsamic Shrub
- Fig Vodka & Ginger Sparkler
- Lemon-Basil Breeze
- Summer Grape Vine (made with homegrown grapes!)
- Tomato & Avocado smoothies
- Caipirinha smoothie
- Cucumber & Jalapeno Margarita
So many creative combinations! KC & Helen were crowned as the Master Mixologists with their backyard garden sourced Mo’jito Mo’Betta Cocktail. (KC & Helen are the same couple that so generously dropped by with neighborly eggs from their chickens.)
My contribution was from locally foraged ingredients. I was, of course, inspired by the southern spirit (and spirits). Did I win? No, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn! Aren’t we all winners in this neighborhood?
How to be Neighborly: Mix & Mingle
Floral Park Forager
- 1.5 oz Lime, Rosemary & Honey Simple Syrup (*)
- 1.5 oz bourbon
- Splash of brandied cherry juice or pomegranate juice/syrup
- 1.5 oz club soda
- Garnish with sugared rosemary spear with a brandied cherry
- Pomegranate seeds
Pour simple syrup, bourbon, soda and juice over ice. Garnish with sugared rosemary spear topped with a brandied cherry. Sprinkle in pomegranate seeds.
Use the sugared rosemary to stir the drink. The sugar on the rosemary will sweeten the drink.
Lime, Rosemary & Honey Simple Syrup
- 1/4 c honey
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 c water
- 2 springs rosemary, bruised to release oils
- Juice from 10 limes (about 2/3 c)
In a sauce pan, combine the honey, sugar, water, and rosemary. Stir the mixture over medium low heat to melt the sugar and honey, but don’t bring it to a boil. You just want to steep the rosemary a bit. Set aside to cool. Once cool, add the lime juice.
- 3 inch rosemary stems, bottom inch of leaves removed
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp water
- Sugar for dusting
In a small sauce pan, melt the sugar and water over medium heat. When the sugar and water are combined, remove from the heat. Dip the rosemary spears, leaves first into the sugar water, and then dust with granulated sugar. Set aside to dry.