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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Cheese and Blueberry Blintzes with Blueberry Preserves Syrup

Cheese and Blueberry Blintzes with Blueberry Preserves Syrup

Sweet, fruity, cheesy blintzes are a great Mother’s Day treat for the Mom in your life. But let’s face it, they’re equally awesome as a weekend splurge you can make for yourself!

Breakfasts at the Nerds household are probably a lot like breakfasts at your house. During the week, we never have time to indulge in anything luxurious – it’s grab-a-slice-of-toast, open-a-yogurt, pour-a-quick-coffee time. So the weekend is when we really get to enjoy ourselves. And when it’s a special weekend like Mother’s Day, we really feel like going for the luxury option. These blintzes … well, let’s just say, if they were on the breakfast-in-bed menu at a classy hotel, I would not look at anything else. No, not the pancakes. No, not the eggs benedict. Well, maybe the eggs benedict, but I’d ALSO order a round of these blintzes. But here’s the thing – I’ve never seen them on a hotel menu, and maybe I’m going to the wrong hotels. but that’s all by-the-by because I’m making them at home now. And yes, they are as good as they look.

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The French Tart – Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail

The French Tart - Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail

One of my favorite words of all time is the French word for grapefruit: Pamplemousse.

Say it! Pamplemousse. It’s hilarious, right? It sounds like it should be Liberace’s favorite color. “Why yes, we had the whole living room done in pamplemousse and mauve. It’s divine.”

I also love that it’s a pretty effective insult in French, meaning an annoying, pesky, person who is immature. And of course, it also means boobies. So many uses!

Of course the best use for un pamplemousse, as it is for most citrus in my opinion, is to juice that thang and mix it with some spirits. In this case vodka and elderflower liqueur.

The French Tart - Grapefruit and Rosemary CocktailThe French Tart - Grapefruit and Rosemary Cocktail

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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!

Kumquats

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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Rhubarb Syrup

Rhubarb Syrup

I know it seems like the only spring vegetable I’m excited about is ramps and that’s just not true (it’s kinda true). At the farmer’s market this weekend the ramps were pretty much over (gah, I’m now expecting condolence cards), but the beautiful, bright pink stalks of rhubarb were a fantastic consolation prize.

While we usually go straight for a rhubarb crumble (Matt actually made one and we meant to blog it but ate it too fast), this time I really wanted to go the cocktail route and for that I knew I would need a rhubarb syrup.

Rhubarb Syrup

This really couldn’t be simpler. All you need is some rhubarb, sugar, water and if you’re feeling fancy, a bit of lemon peel or ginger.

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