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Does what you grow in your garden get used on your plate, in your bath, or around your house?  How about all of the above?  or not at all?

I’ve been playing with herbs and essential oils for years.  I’ve got book shelves lined with all sorts of information.  I’ve even got a mad scientist laboratory of oils, waxes, chemicals, and components in my basement.  I’ve been told I have the best smelling basement ever.  I can’t smell it anymore I’m so accustomed to it all.  But when I need to take a relaxing bath or have a mud mask, I trot down the stairs and whip something up.

A few years ago, when I began tightening the budget belt, I thought about how to make the most of what I do spend.  I didn’t plant a tree that magically made money, but what I did plant gets used in so many ways around my house.  I have herbs that I can cook with or turn into aromatherapy and I have veggies growing for food and because they are pretty.  I came up with a workshop series called Pantry Pampering: how to pamper ourselves with what we have on hand.  Over the next little bit, I’m going to share some of these with you.

To kick this off, I’m going to start this pantry party as any good party should start, with a cocktail.  Thanks to Cocktail Remedy for reminding me to finish the fresh grapefruit juice in the fridge.  I’m making his Grapefruit Thyme Cocktail. (without bottling,  I’ll save bottling for another day)

You can make your cocktails uniquely yours with interesting flavored simple syrups.  When you buy commercial sodas they have so much sugar in them.  One way to cut that sugar is by making your own soda.  Half an ounce to an ounce of your homemade simple syrup* topped with a little club soda makes a nice simple soda.  But add a little vodka or gin to your new soda and you have a fancy cocktail.  Your flavors are limited only by your imagination.

I started with fresh thyme from the yard and made my simple syrup a bit stronger than he did.  He started with 5 sprigs and I used about 10.  I’ve mentioned before I’m into big flavors.  I’ve changed the proportions a touch, but this is a nice summertime spritzer.

1.5z Gin Recipe 3
1.5z fresh pink grapefruit juice
1/4z fresh lime juice
1/2z thyme simple syrup (increase if you want)
top with 2z club soda

Another yummy for summertime BBQ’s!

 

* Simple syrup is generally a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar in which you’ve dissolved the sugar.  Boiling the sugar and water combo versus making a room temperature simple syrup is a source of great debate, but I prefer the boiling method.  One versus the other is a conversation for another day.

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