May 13th, 2008
My dear friend Kajal of Applemint celebrates her birthday today. Let’s all join her by having an Applemint Gimlet, which I created in her honor :D We had ours with Russian vodka, but I also offer a fizzy virgin version below, so drink up! Whether you know her as Kajal or Kate, cheers and happy birthday to Applemint :D
In fact Kajal is in Ghana right now and I’m in Seattle, so she is well ahead of me in the celebration. Despite knowing each other only online, we have become great friends. Kajal really encouraged and inspired me with her desserts, her style, her photography, and most of all her bubbly personality — which really does come through her posts and chats.
We also have a lot in common. Besides having birthdays just a few days apart, we share a whole culture. We’re both Gujjus and share the experience of being uprooted from our beloved motherland, India. Our love for food, photography, and blogging really sealed our friendship. Kajal is a friend from across the world who I can count on. She’s like the vibrant younger sister I always wanted and never had ;)
I had only one thing in mind since I brought home this apple mint plant from a Seattle Tilth edible plant sale recently — to make something for Applemint of course! Kajal made me a wonderful mango cake for my birthday, but my baking skills are somewhat short of the panache and presentation she has. I had to do something different, and something cool (literally, it turns out), using some prized ingredients.
This Applemint Gimlet includes the top-shelf ingredients you deserve — an amazing, smooth Russian Vodka from St. Petersburg that my husband Brian recently found, local Mountain Wildflower Honey that is oh! so fragrant! from our Cascade Mountains, and of course freshly plucked apple mint from my garden.
It is fairly ironic that Kajal has a big-ass mango tree in her backyard (see her post for a photo), but her own apple mint plant dried up in Ghana. Meanwhile here I am in Seattle, having a hard time finding good mangoes, but with an amazing bunch of apple mint.
Kajal, I raise my Applemint Gimlet: to your many talents! You are always complaining how damn hot it is Ghana, so have a tall, cold one on me, girl!
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
2 parts Russian Vodka
2 Tbsns Mountain Wildflower Honey or Agave Syrup for vegan version
Some apple mint leaves
An apple mint sprig to garnish
some seltzer or soda, to fill and for a fizzy lid
ice, a straw, and a chilled Collins or Highball glass
1. Muddle about 5 or 6 apple mint leaves in a chilled glass.
2. Add honey, lime juice, and mix well to make sure the honey dissolves.
3. Add vodka, ice, and fill with soda.
4. Add a fresh spring of apple mint, and serve.
Skip the vodka and fill with soda for a non-alcoholic version.