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Herbalism & Mixology Links: 10.24.14

Shrubs, Switchels, and Oxymels
Table for the Shrubs, Switchels, and Oxymels class I taught this week

On autumn flavors, bitterness, and fermentation…

Discover The Sweet Side Of Wild Chanterelles – Wendy Petty at Zester Daily

This year, I toasted the end of the Colorado mushroom season with a cocktail made with chanterelle-infused syrup. A mushroom drink may sound unusual, but the floral and fruity tasty of chanterelles lends them well to cocktails.

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes – Allison Aubrey at NPR

The word bitter can make some of us wince. In conversation, we talk of “a bitter pill to swallow” or “bittersweet” memories. But if you’re puzzled by the bad emotional rap on bitter — perhaps you even like the taste of bitter greens or bitter beer — it may say something about your genes.

Green Coriander Seeds – Cider & Rye

I thought that it would be nice to use the green coriander seeds to make a syrup for soda, cocktails, and lassis. This syrup perfectly captures the transition from summer to autumn. I also thought that the bright coriander seeds would be nice to to make some coriander snaps, or infused vodka. The resulting liquid is incredible!

The Kombucha of Eastern Europe: DIY Kvass – Chris Crowley at Punch

An ancient, subtly alcoholic Eastern European beverage—generally made from fermented beets or bread—kvass has slowly made its way into American bars and restaurants. Chris Crowley explores the DIY world kvass and kvass cocktails.

Piñon Nuts – La Abeja Herbs

The taste of freshly gathered piñon is markedly different from the pine nuts available commercially. It is truly unique–both sweet and savory, tasting at once of the forest floor, the Summer thunderstorms and Autumn Skies, the rich aromatics that characterize the needles and sap of the tree, all these things combine to create a flavor that cannot be described.

Spiced Hawthorn Pear Persimmon Brandy – Juliet Blankespoor at Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

When I returned home, I just knew the craggy hawthorns needed to meet his bronze pears — in some brandy, of course. Then the persimmons chimed in: we want in on this action, too. Hence the inspiration for the recipe, representing this year’s incarnation of fall in the mountains.

Have a marvelous weekend!


Bitters Making

Bitters Making

Bitters Making Workshop
Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2-4pm
Spice Station Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA

Think bitters are mysterious? They don’t have to be! Learn how to make and use your own bitters in this hands-on, demystifying workshop.

Class will begin with a brief history of bitters, followed by tastings so you can learn how to use bitters in cocktails, as herbal digestifs, and even in cooking. Yes, that means cocktails will be served!

You will learn basic formulas, tools, and processes for making bitters from botanicals like orange peels and coffee beans, wormwood and dragon’s blood. Then craft a batch of versatile citrus bitters plus your own unique blend of bitters to take home. All supplies and a recipe handout included.

As a bonus, participants will also receive a 10% discount at Spice Station on the day of the class.

Age 21 and over. All ticket sales final.

Secure your spot: Bitters Making Workshop

Link Love

Herbalism & Mixology Links: 10.17.14


What I’ve been reading, mixing, and listening to…

Australia’s Bush Is Coming to Your Cocktail – Munchies

It’s a blind taste test and you have to identify coriander, mint, thyme and basil. Pretty confident, right? But what if the line up included pepperberry, akudjura, wattleseed and boobialla?

California Foraging: 3 species you didn’t know were edible – Timber Press

Made into a tea, the curling red bark of madrone has an indescribable many-layered taste, with woodsy overtones of fruit and cinnamon.

Healthy Immunity with Herbal Medicine: by Guido Masé – Urban Moonshine/Soundcloud

Herbalists have been employing roots and mushrooms for centuries to communicate with the cells that make up our immune systems. Listen to stories of botanical immunomodulants like astragalus, reishi, burdock, larch, licorice, and pine. Support great winter health!

Herbal archaeology roundup – Worts & All

At the site of a former German beer garden in New York’s Lower East Side, archaeologists recovered glass bottles labelled “Elixir of Long Life” and “Dr. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters.” The archaeologists wanted to taste these blends for themselves.

The Mead You Need – Modern Farmer

A caveman is out scavenging for sustenance. He stumbles across a rotted, toppled-down tree with a beehive nestled in one of its branches. Oozing out from the hive and into the mud is a clouded golden mixture of honey and rainwater. As the caveman sips delightfully, he grows tipsy.

Sunset Scavenger Hunt – Imbibe

This bold cocktail pairs an unusual spicy persimmon shrub with aquavit, two kinds of bitters and a dose of tequila for good measure. Larry Piaskowy, The Alembic, San Francisco

Have a marvelous weekend!