Serve herbal sugars on the rims of fancy drinks, sprinkle over fruits or fruit salads, sprinkle on meats, vegetables and seafood before grilling to enhance cartelization, scatter on top of fresh butter cookies or pound cake, serve in little bowls for tea, or make your own flavored whipping cream by adding herbal sugar to heavy whipping cream before blending.
Makes 3 cups simple syrup and a lot of drinks
Juice and zest of 3 navel oranges
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
Juice and zest of 3 limes
Juice and zest of 4 tangerines
¼ cup sliced ginger plus 1 Teaspoon finely grated ginger
¼ cup basil leaves + ¼ cup chopped basil leaves
1 cup sugar + ½ cup sugar
Lime slices for garnish
For ginger citrus basil sugar:
Preheat oven on200 degrees for 15 minutes. Place zest of all citrus, grated ginger, chopped basil and 1/4 c sugar on a aluminum foil lined cookie sheet, spread out flat and bake for about 40 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool for 15 -20 minutes. Break apart with fingers in a small mixing bowl Until mixture is very fine like sand. (alternatively use a spice grinder or blender)
For simple syrup:
Place all juice in a large measuring cup to get exact measure of total juice from all citrus. Pour into a medium saucepan. Add the exact amount of sugar as the juice approx 1 ½ cups. Add ginger slicesand stir well. Bring to a slow rolling boil and turn the heat on very low. Continue to cook About 3-4 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixtures arebeginning to thicken. Turn off heat, and place basil leaves in mixture. Set aside and let steep for about 20-30 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Mix 4 ounces of vodka or 6 for a stronger drink and 10 ounces of simple syrup mixture in a shaker filled with ice add 2 ounces of sparkling water. Shake well and strain into a martini glass that has been rimmed with the ginger basil citrus sugar, garnish with a lime: for the rim: In a shallow small dish large enough to fit the rim of a glass place a small amount of sugar to cover the bottom of the dish, take a lime wedge and roll over rim of glass, dip the rim of the glass in the ginger citrus sugar mixture turning the glass until the rim is coated.