Good drink/bad drink and the magic that is Elixir of Sage

Best cocktail

That right there is a good drink – banana wine with a little wild blackberry juice swirled in.  It turned into a great drink when I added some elixir of sage.

Elixir of sage is made by steeping sage in eau de vie or other strong alcohol (I used gin because it’s what I had on hand) and adding sugar syrup.  It’s astoundingly, preposterously delicious.  And The River Cottage Preserves Handbook maintains that it’s beneficial health-wise as well, which I’m sort of doubting because of the sugar but who knows.

You people with blogs, you know what I mean when I say that sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about here.  Like “What’s going on?  The borage is flowering, but the internet probably doesn’t care about my borage.  The bees are the only ones who care about the borage, and they care a lot about the borage.”  Which is why you’re reading right now about the best of cocktails and the worst of cocktails.  The best has already been covered, but I found myself glancing down at the worst about 15 minutes ago and the best of vs. worst of concept leaped into being.

Worst cocktail

Today we had to turn the AC on to keep the temperature down to a mild 85 in the apartment.  Thus as I was making a list for this Sunday’s F&D workshop (I’ll be teaching sourdough) there was a jam jar of mostly ice and a little cheap creme de menthe in my hand.  And while it was cold and sweet enough, the aggressively fake color and flavor kept intruding into my attempts at mental housekeeping.  I’d recommend instead the Elixir of Sage.

Elixir of Sage

adapted from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook

Pack a glass jar full of fresh sage leaves.  Cover with clear alcohol, the stronger the better.  Let steep on sunny windowsill until you remember it’s there and feel like dealing with it (at least one month.)

I hope you remember how much hooch you put in, because you’ll need half that amount in sugar.  For every cup of sugar, boil 3/4 cup of water and dissolve sugar in that.  Let cool and add to strained sage-y booze which has turned a really cool natural greenish color unlike that stupid creme de menthe.  Cork or cap with screw-caps.  Use within one year.

(It’s great in tea and lemonade!)

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3 Responses to Good drink/bad drink and the magic that is Elixir of Sage

  1. I love sage. I love booze. Gotta try this recipe!!!

  2. Joe says:

    I enjoy your blog (got here by looking at shed ideas).

    I have a garden and a good amount of basil. Your elixir post gave me the idea for Elixir of Basil.

    Am I nuts?


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