Friday, June 3, 2011

White Sage

I have to admit that I don’t really get the White Lady Cocktail, at least as it appears in most recipes. For my money, I’d rather have the complexity of a Pegu Club or a Sidecar instead. But on a visit to Clyde Common several months ago, they had a nice cardamom-scented version that got me to thinking about herbal additions to this classic.

White Sage
  • 2 oz dry gin (Junípero)
  • 1/2 oz curacao (Seniors)
  • 1 tsp Poire Williams
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 3-4 fresh sage leaves
Muddle sage leaves in lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients and shake with plenty of ice. Use an assertive gin for this, and avoid over-dilution or you lose the edge. Strain through mesh into a chilled cocktail glass.

Juniper from the gin accents the sage, which dries down the pear and orange. I tried leaving little broken bits of muddled sage in this, which looked good but were a little leathery in such a light-bodied cocktail. I strained them out. I also considered a sage leaf for garnish, but didn’t like the way it sat in the glass. Maybe I’ll try an egg white version.

Since I called this cocktail White Sage, I guess I should note that the recipe refers to culinary sage—the soft, velvety, green kind you buy with the other culinary herbs—and not the white sage that gets burned like incense. Different plant. Don’t use a smudge stick to make this drink. It just wouldn’t be the same.

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