Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lavender Rosemary Ginger Ale #1

Walking around my neighborhood last weekend, I walked past several rosemary and lavender bushes and it inspired me to try a new concoction.

1/2 oz fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp stevia extract (cut with dextrose)
1/8 tsp ale yeast
1/2 gal water

Simmered ginger alone for 20 minutes, with rosemary an additional 10 minutes. Removed from heat to steep with lavender for 10 minutes. Brewed 7 days at 70 degrees.

This recipe was really a shot in the dark, so I was completely prepared for it to be disgusting. It is not. Everything settled leaving the liquid totally clear, but the sediment makes it cloudy with a slight pinkish purple tinge. When I put my nose to it, I was afraid it would be too gingery, but after tasting it, I think the tiny bit of sharpness is needed, as the other flavors are very round. It is distinctly, but not overwhelmingly lavender-flavored. I get almost none of the rosemary, so that can be at least doubled. My room mate, who has a cold and had just drunk tea with honey, found the stevia's sweetness a bit odd. I think it's fine, though it isn't just like sugar. Most people would probably judge the level of sweetness right, but I could use a little less.

As far as carbonation, the small amount of sugar has made it bubbly enough. I'm not sure whether more time would make it any bubblier, and we'll have to see if the other three bottles turn out once they're chilled. This is definitely a good start. Perhaps some rose or ginkgo would be a way to add the next layer of complexity.

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