After my wine tasting seminar on Saturday at DC's Metro Cooking Show, the always smiling and oh-so-talented Beverage Director Jill Zimorski of Cafe Atlantico did a cocktail seminar where she demonstrated bar techniques, and whipped up a batch of cocktails made with lemon verbena-infused Bourbon. Jill was nice enough to share the recipe with me, and since the lemon verbena in my garden has remained hardy enough to withstand the few nights of frost we've had in the DC area, I think I might just have to use the remainder of it for this recipe. The idea of Bourbon being lightened and brightened by the citrusy herb is very appealing to me...
Mississippi Manhattan Courtesy of Jill Zimorski, Cafe Atlantico, Washington, DC
2 oz. lemon verbena-infused Maker's Mark (**see recipe below) 1 oz. honey syrup (a 1:1 ratio of honey to water, stirred until the honey dissolves. Jill likes to use Tupelo honey.) 1 oz. lemon juice (preferably from Meyer lemons, and this turns out to be the juice of 1/2 a Meyer lemon.)
Add all to a cocktail shake, fill with ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass, and garnish with flamed lemon peel.
**For the lemon verbena-infused Maker's Mark, Jill uses 1 cup of lemon verbena leaves for 1 liter of Bourbon. She employs a Cryovac machine, but since most of us don't have those in our kitchens at home, you can add the leaves to the Bourbon, and steep for 48 hours, shaking occasionally.