Madcap Mixology Mayhem

Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2013

Amarino Cocktail

Madcap Mixology Mayhem. My friend Cindy came up with this phrase to describe my cocktail creations and concoctions. I find a lot of creative freedom and satisfaction making these cocktail garden inventions and infusions. The big fun begins with finding ways to use and enjoy them. And my oh my, am I enjoying them!

My latest triumph is my Spring Amaro – 16 herbs and vegetables infused in vodka, with a little turbinado syrup added at the end. My Spring Amaro has a pungent and intriguing aroma. Quite a bit of in-your-face, spring-has-sprung flavor. The right amount of bitter. It’s a nice sip, and an even better ingredient in a garden cocktail. I loved just a fourth a teaspoon of it in my latest and greatest Strawberry Shrub Cocktail. Then I used the Spring Amaro in this Amaroni Cocktail – my riff on a classic Negroni. A Negroni is equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. I substituted the Spring Amaro for the Campari.

And a few words about the feverfew (small daisy flower) I used as a garnish in this drink. The feverfew is a volunteer in our cocktail garden. I decided to let it live, as it is considered edible, although it tastes horrible! I didn’t use it in the Spring Amaro infusion, even though it has medicinal benefits. The feverfew flower is just for show. Okay – onto the recipes.

Amaroni Cocktail

  • 1 ounce Spring Amaro
  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

Mix and serve with ice cubes.

Spring Amaro

Put 3 cups good quality vodka into a quart glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Select and add small sprigs of your favorite spring garden herbs, veggies and edible flowers. Shake gently every day or so. Pull out individual herbs as your taste dictates. So taste your amaro daily for the first week. Weekly after that. Some herbs and veggies are only welcome for a day or three. Here is the combination that worked for me.

  • lovage – one day
  • arugula, red mustard and chive blossom – three days
  • anise hyssop, basil mint, bay leaf, bronze fennel, golden oregano, lemon balm, lemon verbena, marjoram, pineapple sage, sage, rosemary and tarragon – left in infusion for a total of four weeks

Strain the mixture and add 1 1/2 ounces turbinado simple syrup. Pour into a clean bottle.




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