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How To Save Summer Herbs for a Winter Cocktail

 
Friday, July 13th, 2012 at 11:21:37 AM
by Jacqueline S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Summer is one of the best seasons for fresh ingredients. However, once the Winter chill is upon us it’s easy to start missing those aromatics. One of my favorite ways to battle these blues is to make simple syrup from herbs in the Summer and freeze it for cooking and cocktails during the Winter.

I always have leftover basil and lemon-thyme from perusing farmers’ markets in my flip flops as they’re my favorite Summer scents. It’s great chopped and frozen into ice cubes or to make the below simple syrup. Once it’s prepared and sealed you can forget about it in the back of your freezer until the snow falls. Add a few drops to Prosecco for a refreshing Aperitif or even pour it over a snow ball for an icy treat to bring back memories of lush gardens in July.

What are your favorite Summer herbs? Tell us in the comments below!


Basil/Lemon-Thyme Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Cups Demerara Sugar (Sugar Cane Extract) or Brown Sugar
  • 3 Fresh Lemon-Thyme Sprigs
  • 3 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1 Lemon Peel
  • Plastic Tupperware

Directions:

  1. Bruise herbs with the back of a wooden spoon to release oil.
  2. Bring all ingredients less the sugar to a boil in a small pot.
  3. Once bubbling stir in sugar until it is completely dissolved.
  4. Take off the heat and let cool.
  5. Pour contents through a sieve and into tupperware. Wipe rim to avoid stickiness from the syrup and store in freezer.
  6. Forget about it.

For more information on farmer’s market cocktails check out our Farm-to-Table Cocktails piece from the August issue of the magazine.

10 Tips for Toast of the Town Attendees

 
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011 at 4:18:08 PM
by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies

Our final Toast of the Town event this year is this Friday, September 23rd in Miami, and the enthusiasm is off-the-charts! Whether a new attendee or a seasoned veteran, we’ve compiled 10 helpful tips to make your night memorable. Cheers!

Toast of the Town, Crostini
10. Arrive early.
When possible, it’s best to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy all of the spectacular wine and food—and beat everyone else to it! Being “fashionably late” will not do you any good. The event begins at 6:00 for VIP ticket holders and 7:00 for Grand ticket holders.


9. Be comfortable.

You will be on your feet for a few hours, tasting wine and food from all corners of the world. The last thing you want ruining a delectable tuna tartare is foot pain. Look nice, but comfort is key.

8. Blaze your own trail.

Groups of people will typically crowd around certain dishes and wines. A kobe beef burger or a 2004 Brunello will surely be popular, but wait for your moment to get a taste. Blaze your own trail to the hamachi with chive oil and return to the kobe beef once everyone has moved on.

7. Be Social.
People from all areas come to Toast of the Town for a chance to taste exotic treats. Why not mix and mingle over some of your favorite dishes? Chat up wineries and restaurateurs as well, they may have their own interesting stories.DC Toast of the Town


6. Make it memorable.

After tasting a multitude of wines, things may start to get fuzzy. Take every opportunity you can to take business cards and menus from restaurants that you particularly enjoy. These will be useful devices in the morning, when you’re trying to recall who made the oyster shooters or which Riesling was your #1 choice. Jot down tasting notes in your booklet for your favorite sips.

5. Be Daring.

It’s a tasting event after all, so taste something new! Go outside of your comfort zone by seeking out unique wines like Gruner Veltliner or maybe a Pinot Noir from Chile. This is a great chance to broaden your horizons, so take advantage of it.

4. Bring A Novice.

One of the joys of wine is being able to share your knowledge with friends so that they may appreciate it as much as you. Use a wine/food tasting event as an opportunity to introduce someone you love to the world of wine.

3. Bring Accessories.
This wine glass holder necklace may look unorthodox, but it can make a world of difference. (Just read the customer reviews.) Rather than juggling a plate and glass, you can be hands-free while enjoying your food. Can’t beat that!

2. Don’t Miss a Thing!

A guide to the Miami event is available for you to download at the bottom of the page here. Preview all the wine and food before Friday and make sure you hit all the tables on your wish list!

1. Be Responsible.

Nobody wants to be remembered as the guy/gal who fell asleep in the guacamole. It’s great to return for more of your favorite wines, but remember that this is a “tasting” event, not a drinking spree.
I’m sure many of you have honed in on your own tricks of the trade. If you have anything to add, please share with the rest of us!


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