Since my CSA started, I’ve had to really restrain myself in the face of the gorgeous whorls of kale and the rainbow of radishes at the greenmarket. It’s safe to say that at any given time, I don’t need more vegetables. This just means I’ve been giving myself permission to explore the non-necessities a little more. This is how I came to be in love with anise hyssop. (That’s it above, with those pretty little purple flowers.)
As the name implies, its flavor is anise-y, which I realize may send you running in the other direction. I’ve always been a weirdo that liked black licorice better than red, but I have to say that the flavor of anise hyssop is definitely smoother and lacks the bite and bitterness that I think turns some people off from black licorice. Like I did with lovage, I took the flavor on a test drive in the form of simple syrup and it quickly became a new favorite. When I made this syrup, I still had strawberries in my fridge. Punk Domestics confirmed my suspicions that strawberries go swimmingly with anise hyssop and I was in need of a summery cocktail. Meet the Strawberry Stunner: sweet, totally gorgeous, and a little more complex than you expected.
Strawberry Stunner Cocktail
Yield: 1 cocktail
- 1/2 oz anise hyssop syrup
- 3 oz lillet
- 1 oz vodka (I used tito's)
- 2 ripe strawberries, washed and stems removed
- Place ice and all ingredients except the strawberries into a cocktail shaker.
- Place a fine mesh strainer (I have a little one that works great for this) over the cocktail shaker and press the strawberries through it with the back of a spoon to "juice" them into the shaker.
- Shake until nice and cold and strain into a coupe glass.
Anise Hyssop Syrup
- 20 leaves (1 handful) anise hyssop
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in small saucepan over high heat.
- Bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain and refrigerate.
(Psst… Yossy, pic #3 is for you!)