Mint-packed mojitos and juleps might be the most famous examples, but all kinds of cocktails will perk up when herbs are added to the mix. Muddling is the key to extracting the herbs' flavors and fragrant oils, done with a traditional bar tool similar to a mortar and pestle but gentler on delicate leaves, or the end of a wooden spoon. Here are four herbalicious drinks from our test kitchen.
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Give drinks, dessert, and breakfast a seasonal spin with this classic spice blend. Mix it yourself or use a store-bought version. To make spiced whipped cream for topping hot coffee, Irish coffee, pie, or cake, add 2 teaspoons of the mix to 1/2 cup heavy cream before whipping. The sweetened spice mix is good sprinkled on buttered toast or French toast.
Making Your Own
Even if you don't have pumpkin-pie spice in your pantry, you may well have everything that goes into it. Stir together 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add 2 tablespoons sugar for a sweetened version.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
Use a grapefruit knife to hull strawberries. The curved blade will cut away the stems smoothly while leaving most of the fruit intact.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2008
A childhood favorite grows up in this sophisticated update on applesauce, which boasts an intense caramelized flavor, thanks to a base of roasted apples. It's also an excellent way to make use of fruit left over from fall apple picking. Simply roast the whole fruit with brown sugar and butter until softened, and then use a food mill to puree and separate out the skins and seeds. Stir in your favorite spices and enjoy the sweet harvest.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2007
Why settle for ordinary eggs and toast when you can show your love with this version?
Using a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, remove the center of a thick slice of bread, and toast it. Melt 1 1/2 teaspoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Place bread slice in skillet, and cook until underside is lightly browned. Add another 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, and flip bread. Fit cookie cutter, coated with cooking spray, in bread's cutout heart, and crack an egg into cutter. Cover skillet, and cook until egg is set, 2 to 3 minutes. Use tongs to remove cutter. Serve with toasted heart for dipping into yolk.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2009
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