Thursday, April 22, 2010

Turning Those Herbs Into Wonderful Summer Drinks

Do you want to know how to make the world's best margarita?  Have a seat, let me tell you a story.

Last summer... Josh and I helped some friends move.  While the boys moved heavy stuff, in my defense I was 8 months pregnant, Erika and I spent time cleaning out the freezer.  As we cleaned, elbow deep in ice cubes and frozen veggies, Erika came across a big bag of Lemon Verbena Sugar Pesto.  She kindly asked if Josh and I wanted it, a payment for our services.  At the time, I didn't even know what Lemon Verbena was, regardless though, I smiled and happily took the gift.

Two moths later... this beautiful bag of Lemon Verbena Sugar Pesto continued to take up space in our freezer, untouched and taunting me.  You see I, like my grandmother, hate wasting food.  Just yesterday I was thinning my arugula seedlings and instead of throwing away the handful of arugula seedlings I had plucked, I washed them and threw them on top of my dinner that night.  And the water that I used to wash the handful of plucked arugula seedlings, that water got dumped back in the garden instead of going down the drain.

And so the taunting continued...

Two months + 10 days or so... after a bit of experimenting, this beautfiul bag of pesto tormented me just enough that out of my tormented state, the most delicious margarita recipe was born.  And when I say most delicious, I geneuienly mean most delecious.  That summer, we had friends over multiple times and every dinner guest begged for the recipe.  Soon, this lemon verbena sugar pesto was like gold.  People were frantically asking around at the farmers market, needing to get their fix.

Current day... it's that time of year again, time to start planting our gardens and so I remind you, please don't forget to plant all those wonderful herbs.  It's so easy to make pesto in the summer and then freeze them for winter.  To inspire you, here is that margarita recipe...

Sugar Pesto Recipe:
Take two part sugar to one part herbs and food process.  Remember to wash your herbs, just using the leaves and discarding the stems.  Make sure the washed herbs are dry before processing them.  This sugar pesto works well with mint for mojitos or lemon verbena for margaritas.  Great for drinks, fruit salad, baking, etc.

The World's Best Margarita Recipe:
In a martini shaker, shake these ingredients well:  1 shot lemon verbena sugar pesto, 1 shot tripple sec, 2 shots good tequila, juice of 2 limes, and ice.  Using two plates, one with water and one with sugar pesto, dip the rim of the margarita glass first in the water first and then in the sugar pesto to cover the rim with sugar pesto instead of salt.  Pour the margarita into the glass and serve immediately with a sprig of fresh lemon verbena and a slice of lime.



Sheree said...

This sounds so delicious! I may have just been inspired to find a space in the garden for lemon verbena.

The Artists House said...

It really is worth planting. Who doesn't want perfect margaritas in the summer? Call around to your local garden stores; unfortunately it's not the most popular herb.

It's rainy and cold here in Utah today :( My verbena is still sitting on my window sill wanting to get outside. If only the cold weather would go for good.

Anonymous said...

This is SUCH a great idea, I cannot believe we've never done it before. There's a post on CHOW re: gardening for bartenders (which I just sent to my husband), and now we know how to keep the herbs all winter long - thanks!

The Artists House said...

Michelle, I'm so glad you are excited about this. They really do make amazing drinks all year long. We just ran out of our stash from last summer and so I'm super hungry for our herbs to start growing. Moms need their margaritas, lol.

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