I recently bought Pernod (absinthe) to add to Tomato & Fennel soup. I love adding an ingredient to recipes that I haven't used before, but hate that moment I realize I now have a rarely-used ingredient hanging around without a purpose. So, what to do with this leftover anise-flavored liqueur? Make cocktails, of course!
Absinthe has a very interesting history and was banned in most of Europe and the U.S. since the early 20th century. It only became legal once again in the U.S. in 2007. You can read more about it in my Tomato & Fennel Soup recipe post. It's pretty fascinating. While looking for a good recipe to use my absinthe, I found a classic absinthe cocktail, "Sazerac," that dates back to the time of absinthe's height of popularity in the 19th century. Did you know that Sazerac is the official cocktail of New Orleans - officially declared in 2008. According to New Orleans Online:
Back in 1838, Antoine Peychaud created the drink in a French Quarter bar and named it for his favorite French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et fils. In 1873, the drink was changed when American Rye whiskey was substituted for cognac, and a dash of absinthe was added by bartender Leon Lamothe, and today he is now regarded as the Father of the Sazerac. In 1912, absinthe was banned, so Peychaud substituted his special bitters in its place.
I don't have a pear tree, and my fig tree yielded a laughable single tiny fig. But, I found a great recipe for a Pear Sazerac that uses pear vodka, so it's a bit of a twist on the original drink. It's a great autumnal cocktail and a great way to incorporate Pernod with seasonal pear flavor. If you're looking for a great food pairing to follow this fine cocktail, try making Tomato & Fennel Soup.
Makes 1 cocktail
1/4 oz. anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod
2 oz. pear vodka
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes bitters
1 pear wedge, for garnish
- Place an ice cube in a martini glass and add the anise-flavored liqueur. Swirl to coat the glass and let it stand to chill for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the pear vodka, simple syrup, and bitters, stirring vigorously.
- Empty the ice and liqueur from the glass. Strain the pear vodka mixture into the coated martini glass; garnish with the pear wedge.
I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).
I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)
This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.
In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself.
With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix DMC-ZS15 compact camera.)
I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.
Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!