The year is drawing to a close… which means you have three sleeps to continue relishing the joys of excess before that ghastly New Year conscience kicks in and it’s all, ‘I’ll have a mung bean and alfalfa sprout smoothie please’. What better time to reflect upon your favourite mixology trend of the year gone by?
For us at Bane + Antidote 2014 was all about herb infused cocktails, as they represent the epitome of intelligent imbibing. Not only do these delightful concoctions provide a long overdue alternative to the banality of ‘variations-on-sweet’, many contain a hearty dose of medicinal properties, and represent a world of creative hosting opportunities to boot.
While every great dinner party begins with a cocktail, only an exquisite dinner party begins with a cocktail designed with the health needs of the guests in mind, or interjects with half-time cocktails that reflect and enliven the dishes being served. Below are our favourite herb infused cocktail recipes, with information on the properties and flavours of each. Enjoy! You have three days. GO!
Properties: Chamomile is used as a sleep aid, to calm the nerves, speed digestion, and to treat anxiety, fevers, colds, and stomach ailments. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Taste: Flowery, mild.
Chamomile Hot Toddy by Honestly Yum
- 1 1/2 oz bourbon 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz chamomile honey syrup
- 4 oz hot water
- lemon wedge and chamomile flowers for garnish
Chamomile Honey Syrup:
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/8 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon dried chamomile
Properties: Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal. Ginger is used to ease nausea, aid digestion, combat colds and flu, improve circulation and provide energy. A great all-round health booster.
Taste: Spicy, peppery, earthy.
The Jim Dandy by Mike Lewicki of The Boys Club
- 2 oz (60 ml) spiced rum
- 3 oz (90 ml) of ginger beer
- 1 oz (30 ml) of pear nectar
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/2 tsp (5 ml) fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 oz (15 ml) chai tea, cooled
- 2 dashes of bitters
- infused ice cubes
- pear slices, to garnish
- lime quarter, to garnish
Properties: Calming, uplifting, analgesic and antiseptic. Helps ward against coughs, colds and flu.
Taste: Floral, spicy.
Vodka Lavender Lemonade by The Effortless Chic
- 6 white sugar cubes
- 2 ounces cold water
- 4 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 4 ounces vodka
- four stems of lavender
Properties: Lemongrass is widely used to relieve headaches (making it a perfect hair-of-the-dog ingredient). It is also believed to speed detoxification and aid digestion.
Taste: Fragrant, pungent, sharp.
Grapefruit Lemongrass Cocktail by Lauren Kathryn of Swooned
- 1 handful of fresh Thai basil
- 1 stalk of lemongrass
- 1/5 ounce of rum
- 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
- 3 ounces of water
- Dash of bitters
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
Properties: mint is used to help digestion, speed weight loss, improve memory, and to combat fatigue, colds, flu and headaches.
Taste: Fresh, peppery, tangy.
The Ivy Gimlet by Cupcakes and Cashmere
- 3 oz. of your favourite vodka, chilled
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
- 1 tsp. superfine sugar
- 8 fresh mint leaves, muddled
Properties: Antibacterial, a strong antiseptic and a powerful antioxidant. Thyme is an expectorant and is believed to help fight cancer.
Taste: Tangy, warm, lemony.
Blackberry Thyme Sparkler by The Effortless Chic
- 1 c. blackberries + 8 more for garnish
- 1 c. Water
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 bottle of champagne
- 4 ounces or 1/2 c. gin
- 4 long sprigs of thyme
- 1 c. ice
- gold baking sugar for the rim