Honeysuckle Rosé

HoneysuckleRoseMain
Honeysuckle Rosé. Recipe and photo by tippledpink.

Honeysuckle Rosé

2 oz Gruet Rosé Brut sparkling wine
1 oz honeysuckle-infused vodka (recipe below)
0.5 oz lemon juice
1/2 tsp simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

Combine vodka, syrup, lemon juice and Peychaud’s in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an iced champagne glass. Top with Rosé Brut and stir gently.

Garnish with honeysuckle blossom.


Sadly, the last day of summer is here, but, luckily, in many parts of the country the farmers markets are still full and flowers still abound. While taking a stroll, I pass by a honeysuckle bush in bloom and am instantly awash in memories of sipping honeysuckle nectar as a child. I resolve to make a cocktail to capture that flavor.

I decide the best way to work honeysuckle into a cocktail is to use my sous vide to infuse a vodka since doing so will give me more control than infusing a simple syrup and floral flavors can be tricky to work with.

HoneysuckleRoseDetailFlowers
Honeysuckle flowers. Photo by tippledpink.

I start by knocking on a neighbor’s door and asking permission to snip a cup of the honeysuckle flowers growing on their fence. They give me a puzzled look but say ‘yes’, so I snip each flower below the green stigma at its base, drop them into a bowl and take them home. I fill a deep stock pot with water, clip the sous vide to its side and set the temperature to 176°F (80°C). As the water comes to temp, I wash the flowers, then trim off the green bases and place the flowers into a quart-sized ziploc bag. I add 1 cup of Tito’s Vodka to the bag. Leaving the bag unsealed, I slowly lower it into the pot of water, letting the pressure of the water press air through the top of the bag. Once most of the air is out of the bag, I seal it just above the water line.

Next, I place a small plate on the bag to hold it under water and sous vide it for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, I use tongs to remove the bag from the pot and transfer it to a bowl of ice water to chill for 15 minutes. Finally, I strain it into a glass container and taste it. The flavor of the honeysuckle is undeniable, but there’s a certain bitterness that will need to be balanced.

I decide to make a take on a French 75 but to use a sparkling rosé as the bubbly. I grab a small shaker, fill it with ice and add an ounce of honeysuckle vodka, 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of simple syrup. I shake it and strain it into a champagne flute then top it with 2 ounces of sparkling rosé. It’s good but needs a little more sugar and complexity, so I bump the simple up to 1/2 teaspoon and add 2 drops of Peychaud’s Bitters. Et Voila! The Honeysuckle Rosé is born! Refreshing, complex and festive, it’s a lovely way to toast the last day of summer.


Honeysuckle-infused Vodka

1 cup Tito’s Vodka
1 cup honeysuckle blossoms

Start by clipping 1 cup of honeysuckle flowers below the green stigma at their base. Next, fill a deep stock pot with water, clip the sous vide to the side of the pot, and set the temperature to 176°F (80°C). As the water comes to temp, wash the flowers, then trim off the green bases and place the flowers into a quart-sized ziploc bag. Add 1 cup of Tito’s Vodka to the bag. Leaving the bag unsealed, slowly lower it into the pot of water, letting the pressure of the water press air through the top of the bag. Once most of the air is out of the bag, seal it just above the water line.

Next, place a small plate on the bag to hold it under water and sous vide it for 10 minutes. Once the timer goes off, use tongs to remove the bag from the pot and transfer it to a bowl of ice water to chill for another 15 minutes. Strain into a glass container and seal until ready to use. Should keep indefinitely.

 

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