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The Herbalist's Happy Hour

Crafted Cocktails and Tapas from the Garden

For thousands of years, people have connected with plants for food, medicine, home and body care needs. Chrysalis Herbs’ new book “The Herbalist's Happy Hour - Crafted Cocktails and Tapas from the Garden ”, connects this fascinating world to blissful occasions. Sharing her love and knowledge of herbs and gardening, author Susan Evans, a Certified Clinical Herbalist, guides you to discover how easy it is to create unique, artisanal beverages and tasty finger foods from the garden. “The Herbalist's Happy Hour” explores everything from edible flower garnishes, non-alcoholic refreshers, and fruity shrubs to captivating cocktails, infused liquors, and savory small bites. This book will inspire you to create your own flavorful libations and tapas.

The  “The Herbalist's Happy Hour - Crafted Cocktails and Tapas from the Garden” has arrived!

It is available for purchase at Amazon.com in print format.

Author Susan Evans will also have books available for purchase at her classes, workshops, retreats and special events. Join our mailing list to recieve release announcements.

The Herbalist's Happy Hour - Crafted Cocktails and Tapas from the Garden

- Introduction

The new craze for handcrafted cocktails has brought people out of the liquor stores and soft drink aisles to discover the pleasures of creating their own delicious libations with fresh seasonal ingredients from the garden and farmers’ market. Designing your own drinks and small plates is a lot less expensive, much more fun, and definitely healthier.

I’m hoping this book will motivate you to create your own flavorful foundations for drinks and dining. I promise you hours of creative fun, delectable noshing, and blissful occasions, either solo or with others.

I first started concocting garden-centered cocktails after becoming an herbalist and scrutinizing labels more closely. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a margarita mix? Mainly chemicals, dyes, and preservatives. Why buy when you can design your own amazing, toxin-free cocktail and drink combos with easy-to-find ingredients?

Skip the pricey infused alcohol and make your own blue spruce gin and jalapeño tequila. Concoct healthy and delicious concentrates from fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables that you can store in the fridge and use for anything from a hibiscus lime cooler to a conifer cocktail. Trade the gloppy queso, the wilted crudités with ranch dressing, and the lackluster cheese plate for tasty creations made with vibrant seasonal ingredients.

Most of the cocktail recipes in the book are also delicious in their virgin form. I have included tea and shrub recipes to be enjoyed for their health-promoting benefits and great taste.

Being an herbalist has opened up a whole new world for me. Studying and working with herbs for the last 25 years has left me continually amazed by the many ways you can use these lovely, helpful plants.

My daughters, family, and friends have undergone several unique treatments with my potions as I developed my craft and, I’m happy to say, lived to tell the tale. Using herbs and garden produce to replace store-bought items has enriched my health and self-reliance and seems to have infiltrated every part of my life. Start with your own drink recipes, and who knows what new inspirations and adventures may develop?

We in the US are often unfavorably compared with people of foreign countries for our lack of downtime, our need to constantly produce and consume. Let’s cultivate the art of leisure, taking time to celebrate life, whether with a rooftop tapas party or a patio respite for one. May this book assist you in that quest.

Discover how easy it is to create unique, artisanal beverages and tasty finger foods from the garden. Explore amazing results with minimal effort including everything from edible flower garnishes, non-alcoholic refreshers, and fruity shrubs to captivating cocktails, infused liquors, and savory small bites. Get the party started!

- Crafted Cocktail Recipes from "The Herbalist's Happy Hour"

Lavender Lemonade Fizz

1 serving, easy to multiply from The Herbalist’s Happy Hour - Also nice without the alcohol: the kids will love it.

  • Fresh juice of ½ lemon or lime
  • 1 tablespoon lavender syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1 ounce gin or vodka
  • Seltzer or club soda

Add lemon, syrup and alcohol of choice to glass, top with seltzer and ice, stir and imbibe.

Lavender Syrup

  • 2 tablespoons lavender buds, fresh or dried
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Add all ingredients to a saucepan, bring to a boil while stirring, turn off heat, cover and let steep for an hour or two, strain and refrigerate.

Lavender Lemonade Fizz

Variation: Popsicles

Add lemon and syrup together to make a concentrate. Do not add any seltzer or alcohol. Adding an equal portion of water to the concentrate, (half water, half concentrate), stir well and fill popsicle molds. Freeze and enjoy.

- Tapas Recipes from "The Herbalist's Happy Hour"

Prosciutto Wrapped Plums or Peaches

from The Herbalist’s Happy Hour

  • Ripe plums or peaches halved, pits removed, cut into a little larger than bite size wedges.
  • gorgonzola, goat or blue cheese
  • milk
  • Prosciutto slices
  • Balsamic reduction (recipe follows)
  • Thyme and chopped chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Add a small amount of milk or cream to cheese of choice and mash until creamy enough to spoon onto the fruit wedges. After adding the cheese, wrap the wedge with prosciutto. and roast in oven for about 8-10 minutes on a greased baking sheet until heated through. Serve warm, drizzled with balsamic reduction and topped with fresh thyme and chopped chives.

Too much trouble? Cut the fruit in quarters, skip the cheese or not, wrap with prosciutto and serve. Still quite tasty if not as impressive.

 

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Add 2 cups of balsamic vinegar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer until it is thickened and reduced to ½ - 1 cup, depending on how thick you want it. This will concentrate the flavor. Cool and bottle. Usually takes about 15-20 minutes.

Prosciutto Wrapped Plums or Peaches