Garden to Glass Continues

Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook

More recipes with those bright green herbs and produce for your drinks-with or without alcohol. Rum, vodka or even tequila will work with the Honey Lemonade; trade out the fruit to your whimsy. One of the first local restaurants to serve a Bloody Mary from fresh local tomatoes is Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore. Their potion looked very similar to the one you see here, except for the great garnishes. The last drink serves a few purposes. First, as a refreshing drink to sip all day to flush fat from the body. Secondly, that showy pitcher of herbs, fruit and cucumber is a perfect warm weather refresher-it’s even kid friendly.

Lavender Lemonade with Blackberries

Serves 4 

Revitalizing Honey Lavender Lemonade might just show up at a state fair or your local farmers market.

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • About ¼ cup fresh lavender blooms, stripped from their stems (make sure it’s culinary lavender-NO PESTICIDES)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • filtered water
  • fresh blackberries
  • extra lavender flowers

Combine the honey,  lavender blooms, lemon juice and 4 cups water. Stir, taste, and adjust to your liking, adding more lemon juice or water if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Pour into glasses filled with ice and add blackberries and lavender flowers to each.

Tomato Crush Cocktail

Serves 1

 Now here is a most interesting beverage to get acquainted with. “Drinking” balsamic vinegar isn’t too common in these parts yet, but, in exchange, the delicate and fruity white balsamic works beautifully in this muddled concoction. Snappy and intriguing, this cocktails brimming with herbs and garden bounty   vegetables is also a lot of fun to prepare. 

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce lemon balsamic drinking vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fresh ripe tomato or 8 grape tomatoes diced fine
  • 1 sprig of fresh oregano, plus additional for garnish
  • couple dashes of hot pepper sauce
  • couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces sparkling mineral water
  • Old Bay
  • lime wedges
  • Garden additions: multicolored mini tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted bell peppers, small cooked beets

 Muddle the tomato and oregano with the vodka and drinking vinegar. Add the hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and sparkling water. Mix. 

 Place a good amount of Old Bay in a small flat plate. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedge and then dip wet rim in the Old Bay.

 Pour the fresh tomato cocktail over ice cubes in the rim-coated glass. Stir with a celery stick and the other goodies speared on a skewer. 


Citrus Cucumber Water Fat Flush

Makes One Pitcher

 This gorgeous filled pitcher was originally named Fat Flush by the creator, Kim Lyons (from The Biggest Loser) who states, “Cleansing your system is one of the best ways to jump-start your body’s fat burning ability and to cleanse your system. It’s simple to make, it tastes great and the science backs up its powerful benefits.”

 Besides the main ingredient water, the Fat Flush contains oranges that are loaded with vitamin C to help your body turn fat into fuel. The citrus increases your sensitivity to insulin, stabilizes blood sugar, and stimulates genes to burn fat. Cucumber helps you feel full and acts as a natural diuretic, which means less bloating and water retention as long as you munch on it.  And lastly, it has mint leaves, which are not only refreshing but also promote better digestion and stomach calm. Make a big pitcher every morning. Drink at least one 8 ounce glass three times a day before each meal for 10 days straight. 

Inspired by the recipe, I interchanged a couple of ingredients.

 Notes – Always use organic ingredients when available. Save the citrus for breakfast the next day.

  • 1 blood orange, sliced
  • 2 oranges or tangerines, sectioned
  • 1 cucumber sliced
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint 
  • 1 tray of ice ( or a quarter of a bag)
  • 1/2 – 1 gallon purified water (depending on the size of your pitcher)

Wash citrus, cucumber and mint leaves. Slice cucumber and blood orange and peel regular orange. Combine all ingredients, purified water and ice into a large pitcher.

Refrigerate for about 15 minutes before drinking.

Stir, Enjoy and drink all day!