Aviation Cocktail with Homemade Violet Syrup

Aviation Cocoktail with Violet Syrup

Pretty violet syrup made from our spring flowers creates a tasty Aviation cocktail.

One thing we should mention, if you haven’t gleaned it from our disorganized garden posts, is that we’re not “lawn people”. We do have a stretch of grassy yard, but it’s sloped, it’s public, it does nothing for biodiversity, and we hate mowing it. In short, it gets a little neglected. And because of that benign neglect, we have areas that sprout whatever the hell they want to, and luckily for us, in early spring, that’s violets. Lots, and lots, of tiny, pretty, violets.

Violets for Syrup

So in our ongoing quest to rid our garden of weeds — by eating them — we bring you homemade Violet Syrup, possibly the prettiest concoction ever. And we’re using that syrup to create a version of the classic Aviation cocktail. Perfect for a celebratory Mother’s Day brunch!

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The Notorious F.I.G. – a Fig and Rye Cocktail

We’ve officially been seriously flipping busy lately. Besides our day jobs — did we mention we have day jobs? sadly this blogging lark doesn’t keep us in dog treats, cat ointment or chicken vests — we’ve been working extremely hard on a super secret Nerds with Knives-related project that we’ll tell you about in detail in a couple of months.

All of this to say that it had been so long since we’d gone out to dinner — food that somebody else plans and cooks and hands to us —that when we finally ventured out to Heritage for Matt’s birthday, we had kinda forgotten how the whole thing works. We poked and flapped the menus in front of our faces as though they were coded missives from another planet.

We sat, glassy-eyed and startled, as a waiter explained specials. When the delicious food arrived on our tables, we started discussing how we were going to photograph it before realizing that, actually, we weren’t obliged to. And then we actually were able to relax and start having a good time, and it was in no small part due to the delicious Fig and Bourbon cocktail we picked out from the drinks menu. This recipe is our loose interpretation of that cocktail, made with Valentine’s Day love. We call it “The Notorious F.I.G.”

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Kumquat-Ginger Syrup

This kumquat ginger syrup, made from tiny, tasty, nutritious citrus and fresh ginger, is a delicious and versatile cocktail mixer.

Kumquat Ginger Syrup

The majority of things that I buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market, I know exactly what I want to do with. Broccoli rabe looks good? Let’s make a pizza or maybe pasta with white beans. Carrots are on sale? Let’s roast them with honey and thyme or make carrot cupcakes. Totally reasonable.

Then there are the impulse buys. I saw these kumquats and I just had to have them. I mean, look at them!


They’re like teeny, tiny oranges meant for a doll! I ask you, reader: how could I resist them? Well, I couldn’t, which is why you’re looking at pictures of them right now. The thing is, I had absolutely no idea what to do with them once I got them home.

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