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Creating cocktails is all about experimenting and doing a little digging, especially when we're in between seasons like we are now. Without an abundance of new, exciting fruit and veggies popping up at the market each week, things can start to feel a little humdrum. But your drinks needn't suffer—during times like these, lean on fresh herbs and perhaps a spice or two to jazz up your libations.
Muddling is a great way to get lots of flavor out of your favorite herbs—as an added bonus, your kitchen will smell amazing as the flavors release. With mint as my base, I added a little sugar and lime, but I wanted this cocktail to have an unexpected twist to it, so I tossed in a few cardamom pods. Aromatic cardamom pairs well with the sweet and intense flavor of mint while giving it another layer of complexity (without a lot of work).
Looking to round out the flavor while also keep this cocktail light, I used a combination of Lillet Blanc and gin, which gave the cocktail a little bit of body and richness and added to the herbal notes I was looking to enhance. The pairing of cardamom and mint give this cocktail a light, cool flavors that makes it easy to sip.
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About the author: Kelly Carámbula blogs about her adventures in the kitchen, including a weekly happy hour, on eat make read. She is also the founder and publisher of Remedy Quarterly, an independent food magazine.