Garlic Scape Cocktail
By Christine Dionese
Garlic scapes are still new on the produce scene for some locavores. Scapes are easy to cultivate in upstate New York and have probably landed in your CSA boxes a few times already this season. You’ve likely got garlic scape sauteés and pestos down (I pickled them this season), but have you tried them in any cocktail concoctions yet? Naturally, I assume just about any ingredient I’m cooking with can also double as a cocktail, mocktail or juice ingredient, so I set to making garlic scape shrub syrup. Going for an acrid and earthy, yet slightly sweet and aromatic flavor, I kept it simple with garlic scapes and thyme.
Shrubs are simple; the general idea is:
- 1 part fruit or vegetable: 1 part apple cider vinegar: 1 part organic sugar (can be other vinegars, apple cider vinegar is my preference).
- Fruit or vegetable should be washed and lightly crushed. Strawberries should be hulled and quartered while stone fruit must be quartered and pitted beforehand.
- Bitters, food grade essential oils, coffee or fresh herbs can be added as well.
Garlic Scape & Thyme Shrub Syrup
2 cups chopped garlic scapes
1 cup loosely packed thyme flowers and leaves without stems
2 cups organic demerara sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
Wash and lightly crush scapes and thyme. In this case I used room temperature scapes–they are a bit tough.
Cover scapes and thyme with sugar. Stir to combine, cover and place in fridge.
After several hours, up to several days, scapes and thyme should be surrounded by juice and syrup. It will appear jam-like.
Strain syrup from solids, pressing lightly on the solids to expel juice. Scrape remaining sugar into syrup (may be along bowl). This sugar will settle to the bottom of the mixture.
Add vinegar by whisking to combine until sugar is completely dissolved.
Pour through a funnel into a clean bottle. Cap, shake vigorously and refrigerate.
Check periodically to be sure sugars are dissolving by looking to the bottom. If you see sugar, shake. Eventually the acidity of the vinegar will take care of the sugar.
Now it’s time to taste–get ready, it will be intense!
Garlic Scape & Gin Summer Sipper
Yields 1 cocktail
2 ounces gin
1 ounce Dr. Frank Dry Riesling
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime
2 ounces Garlic Scape & Thyme Shrub Syrup
1 ounce soda water (optional)
Orange twist for garnish
In a mixing glass add a little ice, gin and wine. Stir for about 30 seconds. To your desired tall glass, fill with crushed ice, squeeze in lime, pour combined gin and wine from mixing glass over ice, top with shrub and soda water if desired. Garnish with an orange twist.
Note: For mocktail lovers, substitute the gin with kombucha.
Christine Dionese, integrative health specialist, medical journalist and food writer, is the co-founder of Garden Eats, an organic modern lifestyle blog and business.
Photo by Sean Cassidy