West Elm - Herbal Cocktails with Laura Silverman

Although we love to enjoy delicious cocktails year-round, no season seems more suited to them than autumn. As summer’s light begins to wane and we look for excuses to gather indoors, the cocktail proves a tried-and-true party starter—especially if it is as delicious as one of these three crafted by writer Laura Silverman for our Kindred Spirits cocktail party with And North. Employing liquors from Catskill Distilling Company, Laura used ingredients foraged from her garden to distill the flavors of the season into 3 incredible beverages. Check out the recipes for 2 cocktails (and 1 non-alcoholic drink so potent we dare not call it a mocktail) below! Cheers!

Stay tuned for all of the photos from our Kindred Spirits gathering with And North tomorrow!

West Elm - Herbal Cocktails with Laura Silverman

West Elm - Herbal Cocktails with Laura Silverman

The Windfall
Makes 1 cocktail

    1 ½ ounces Defiant Rye from Catskill Distilling Company
    ½ ounce applejack
    1 ounce spiced cider syrup*
    ¾ ounce cider vinegar
    Dash of baked apple bitters
    Whole nutmeg

Fill a shaker with ice and add spirits, syrup, vinegar and bitters. Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.

*In a large saucepan, combine a half-gallon of apple cider, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 star anise, 1 stick cinnamon, ½ nutmeg and 5 cracked green cardamom pods. Simmer briskly until liquid is reduced down to about 2 cups, about 2-3 hours. Keep an eye out towards the end, and stir occasionally. Strain, discarding spices, and set aside in a bowl or pitcher. Syrup will thicken as it cools. Store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container. Extra syrup is delicious drizzled on waffles or yogurt.

West Elm - Herbal Cocktails with Laura Silverman

The Secret Garden
Makes 1 cocktail

Fill a shaker with ice and add gin, herb syrup and lime juice. Shake vigorously and pour into a rocks glass. Mist with absinthe and garnish with a pinch of fennel pollen.

*In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water until sugar dissolves. While still hot, stir in a large handful of fresh herbs, including thyme, rosemary, shiso, basil, lovage, lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemongrass, sage, lavender, wild fennel, coriander, pineapple sage, mint, rose geranium and marjoram. Cover pan and cool completely. Strain out and discard herbs. Refrigerate syrup until cold. Extra syrup is delicious mixed with sparkling water or drizzled over fresh fruit.

**Fill a 2-ounce spray bottle with absinthe.

West Elm - Herbal Cocktails with Laura Silverman

Sunshine Tonic
Makes 2 elixirs

    2 ounces fresh turmeric juice
    2 ounces fresh ginger juice
    2 ounces fresh lemon juice
    1 ounce filtered water
    1 ounce grade B maple syrup, or to taste
    4 grinds black pepper
    1 large pinch ground cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Serve over ice.

Laura Silverman of Glutton For Life

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Laura Silverman is a writer, cook and naturalist who lives in Sullivan County. Her food and cocktails reflect her passions for travel, foraging and botany. You can find her musings on all of the above at her website, Glutton For Life. She is currently developing a bar/café in Narrowsburg, NY. Follow Laura on Instagram.

Photography by Samantha Goh and Laura Silverman

And North is a curated guide to upstate New York for creative individuals. And North was created to inspire creativity, collaboration, and a sense of community among those interested in connecting the vibrant neighborhoods of New York City with the picturesque regions that lie North. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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November 4, 2015

This all looks so fabulous!! Such a shame people buy synthetic “mixers” laden with corn syrup and chemicals. They pale in comparison to what nature provides.


November 5, 2015

Exquisite!m and the tonic is ideal for every morning but needed after an evening of Secret Garden explorations.
Thank you Laura!

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