#cocktailoftheweekend ~ Edgehill Herb Farm Lemongrass Martini
I have an ancient (15 years old) stand of lemongrass growing here at my “farm”. It’s just a giant clumping grass really, like your lawn only fragrant, and much bigger. My lemongrass has long, tall blades, some taller than me, that are sharp and slice your hands if you are not careful and stalks with fat hearts that are fragrant and tasty and fibrous and tough. Every now and then the plant must be “mown” down to a fraction of it’s substantial volume in order to be cared for properly and I find myself, whenever this “mowing” occurs, with pounds (I kid you not) of harvested lemongrass stalks, some 18″ long and very fat. Nothing like the thin short tender stalks you buy in the grocery in little plastic cartons.
They don’t even fit in the vegetable bin in my refrigerator unless I cut them up.
I need a use for the harvest and have determined that Lemongrass Martinis for a party this weekend is just the thing to make good use of my tonnage of the herb. I still have dried lemongrass left from the last time it was mowed so I don’t need to dry any of it this go round.
My lemongrass is so tough though that conventional methods for using lemongrass in cocktails, those calling for muddling bits of it in the bottom of a cocktail shaker were hilarious failures. The bits, no matter how small I cut them would not break up (or down) and popped out of the shaker with each pound of the muddling tool. It was entertaining but ridiculous. So I devised a plan to pulverize it in a food processor and infuse it in the gin a few hours before making the drinks.
I tried out three different gins in this cocktail before settling on Hendrick’s for the party but Botanist and Aviation were both great in the trial runs, and my personal favorite was Botanist if I’m only making one drink. For me.
The method is to cut 1 to 2 inches of lemongrass depending on the thickness per drink and put it in a food processor and grind the heck out it. Then put the lemony pulp in a jar with 2.25 ounces of gin per drink and let it macerate together a few hours at room temperature before mixing the drinks. So, if you are making 3 cocktails use three 1 to 2″ pieces of lemongrass and a minimum of 6.75 oz. of gin (I put in more gin so I have enough and won’t not run low. There may be a bit leftover, you can save for another day). If you are making 10 drinks just do the math and infuse away!
When making each drink use:
2.25 ounces of the Lemongrass Gin that you’ve made (strained of the solids) and
.75 ounces of Vermouth, I used Cocchi, in a cocktail shaker.
Shake or stir, your choice, with lots of ice ’til well chilled, strain and pour into a well chilled martini glass or mason jar. Garnish with a Lemongrass wheel or a Kaffir Lime leaf if you have it. Your call.
I’m making 20 (maybe more) of these drinks this weekend for a party at a friend’s house. I’m using 50 ounces of gin with 50 cut up pieces of lemongrass pulverized in the food processor to infuse leading up to the party.
I will shake the strained gin infusion with the vermouth one drink at at time during the party.
Wish me luck! (There is also a punch being served, so while I’m crafting the martini cocktail the guests can be drinking a whiskey punch so I’m not too worried.)