I cleaned up my garden a bit today – whacked the weeds on the edges (my once a year use of the stihl), staked up some floppy tomatoes and raspberries, and hauled out a harvest basket full of produce. Very satisfying for a garden that I consider only “ok” this year due to the weather. One of the plants doing best at the moment is a sage that I planted when we moved in three summers ago. Not only does it produce for most of the year, by mid-summer it puts out an incredible amount of beautifully scented leaf. Like most herbs, I really prefer to use sage fresh, so I’m not inclined to dry too much of it – so this year I decided to get on the infusions. Late summer is the exact right time to be thinking about such things – for the late fall dinner party “wow” factor.
Today I put up a Sage-Rosemary olive oil and a Sage-Lemon Vodka. I have no idea what either of these will turn out like, but given the ingredients – and a method I know well – I’m feeling confident these are worth sharing.
Sage-Rosemary Olive Oil
Pack a clean jar tightly full of sage leaves, add some rosemary sprigs and a couple cinnamon sticks or peppercorns if desired. Fill the jar to the top with good quality extra virgin olive oil – make sure to cover everything. Cover with a cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band or jar ring. Put away in a dark place for a month or more. Strain to use.
Lemon Sage Vodka
2 – Lemon Peel
3 – 8″ Sage – Fresh
2 cups – Simple Syrup
4 cups – Vodka
Create your Simple Syrup.
Place the flavorings in the bottle.
Pour the Simple Syrup over the flavorings while the syrup is still hot.
Add Vodka to fill the bottle, usually about 4 cups.
Age for 1 month in a cool dark location, closet or cabinet is fine.
Remove Lemon Peel & Sage and filter out all of the small bits with a coffee filter to clear the Vodka.