“Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned
I have a corner of my garden devoted to cultivating delicious Asian herbs including lemongrass, cardamom, ginger. These herbs are incredibly versatile in the kitchen, but they are also wonderful in mixed drinks.
For a while, I’ve been slightly obsessed with cocktails. My home bar is a work in progress, but coming along nicely.
And when I was in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen street market last year, I found a lovely vintage copper mug set with serving tray.
I wanted it! Badly. But it would have blown the budget for that day, and cramming it into my (already overweight) luggage would have been problematic. I left it behind. But I wish I hadn’t.
So when back home, I found a couple of brand new copper mugs, the traditional serving vessel of the classic vodka and ginger beer cocktail, the Moscow Mule.
But I have to admit, while I swoon for the mugs, I don’t really like the drink!
They are usually too sweet for me. I like my drinks a little more sour, aromatic or spicy. So I have come up with my own South-East Asian inspired version of the Moscow Mule for you to try…
One shot of Vodka (or if you want to be really authentic, get your hands on some Lambanog, a potent Filipino spirit distilled from coconut flowers)
Juice of 1/2 a lime & slices to serve.
A bottle of brewed ginger beer. I used an Australian favourite, Bundaberg.
1 cardamom leaf or one crushed cardamom pod.
1 whole lemongrass stem.
Ice, ice baby.
Trim your lemongrass stem, and knot the long green top leaves. Then pop the knotted lemongrass leaves, vodka, lime juice and cardamom into a cocktail shaker. The longer you infuse the herbs in the vodka, the stronger the aroma.
When you are ready to serve, put in 5 cubes of ice and shake vigorously until freezing cold.
Crush the end of your trimmed lemongrass stalk to swizzle your Manila mule. Put into the copper mug with some ice.
Pour the cocktail into your copper mug and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a few slices of lime. Stir with the lemongrass swizzle…