Friday Happy Hour: The Maypole

We’re back with some more infusions this week. I mentioned last week how wonderful it can be to keep an herb garden for your cocktails. But this week I’ll do more than tell: I’ll show. We used two of our homegrown, fresh herbs to turn what could have been a simple Sour into a lush cocktail that tastes like a blooming garden in a glass: the Maypole. – Andrew

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Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Maypole

2 oz Apple-Mint White Rye
1 oz Opal Basil St-Germain
3/4 oz Lemon Juice

Combine the apple-mint white rye, opal basil St-Germain, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled about two-thirds with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an apple slice. Enjoy!

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We used green apples and freshly picked mint to infuse our rye. The white rye – unaged rye whiskey – has a sharp, spicy flavor. The infusion mellowed the rye without losing that pungency. It’s more herbaceous than fruity. We also used freshly picked opal basil to infuse our St-Germain, and that combination of savory, spicy opal basil and St-Germain’s floral sweetness is a real knockout.You could definitely try out different whiskeys here, as apple and mint seem like natural parings for whiskeys and not just white rye, but that opal basil feels like it belonged with the St-Germain. Seriously, I’m thinking about infusing an entire bottle because wow this one was good.

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Put them together in a Maypole and you have a drink that’s brightly tart and a bit sweet and richly layered with spice and fruit and herbs. There’s a lot going on but somehow it all comes together. And the freshness of those herbs, straight from our garden, means clean and clear favors in our infusions. Tastes like summer.

(Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, where we’ve been posting our experiments before they make their way onto this column!)

Glassware by Liquorary 

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper