6 Spirit of Re­lax­ation

In­fus­ing Ital­ian grappa with fra­grant chamomile flow­ers yields a sub­lime sip­per

SAVEUR - - Test Kitchen -

RENOWNED FOR THEIR SOOTH­ING PROP­ER­TIES, chamomile flow­ers have been used in tinc­tures and teas through­out Europe for cen­turies. When we found our­selves with a sur­plus after test­ing the chamomile gelato recipe in “The New­comer” (p. 60), we sought out new ways to uti­lize their com­fort­ing fla­vor. When in­fused in grappa, the high-abv Ital­ian spirit, chamomile’s gen­tle aro­mat­ics are great for a shaken sour with a fluffy egg white foam, or used as a re­place­ment for gin, mixed with tonic. —Alex Testere

Chamomile Grappa Sour MAKES 1 COCK­TAIL

Mixed with a honey syrup, a chamomile-in­fused spirit gives this oth­er­wise tart and lemony cock­tail sweet­ness and bal­ance. For this tra­di­tional sour, or any drink with egg whites, an ini­tial “dry shake” be­fore the ice is added helps cre­ate a smooth, even foam.

1 tsp. wild­flower honey 2 oz. Chamomile-In­fused Grappa (recipe at right) 1 oz. fresh le­mon juice 1 egg white Dried chamomile flow­ers, for gar­nish

1 Pre­pare the honey syrup: In a small glass or bowl, add the honey to ½ oz. luke­warm wa­ter and stir to dis­solve. 2 In a cock­tail shaker, com­bine the grappa, le­mon juice, honey mix­ture, and egg white, and shake vig­or­ously for 10 sec­onds. Add ice to the shaker and shake vig­or­ously un­til the out­side feels cold, 10–15 sec­onds more. 3 Pour through a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh sieve into a chilled coupe glass. Gar­nish with dried chamomile flow­ers.

In a 1-quart jar, com­bine 750 ml grappa (Ital­ian grape-must spirit) and 3 Tbsp. dried chamomile flow­ers. Seal and let steep for 2–3 days, or up to 1 week. Strain through a pa­per cof­fee fil­ter or dou­ble layer of cheese­cloth set over a fine mesh sieve. Re­turn to the orig­i­nal bot­tle to store in­def­i­nitely. Makes 750 ml

C hamomile-in­fused Grappa

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