Radish Gin for Box #1

The first box of the season came in last Thursday and was I excited. This is my fourth year getting a box from Driftless Organics and each year it’s like Christmas in springtime. After months of over wintered squash and South American imports the promise of fresh, local produce is intoxicating. As always, the journey from box to belly begins by picking up the box. There really is nothing like going to a strangers house to pick up a box of vegetables from “your farm”.

Next of course is the fun of opening it up.

This week’s box:

Broccoli – Raab
Collard Greens
Green Garlic
Pea Vine
Spring-dug Parsnips
Yellow Potatoes

Opened CSA box

Looking at the parsnips and potatoes I felt less than inspired, unless of course I decide to go into vodka production. The greens have some serious potential, especially the pea vine and raab, but the ingredients that sang to me were the radishes, green garlic, thyme and asparagus. And since we’re here to explore cocktail supported agriculture, the song they were singing was of the Bloody Mary. While technically any time of day is fine for a Bloody Mary they somehow always seems to be perfect for a lazy weekend morning. I know the asparagus and garlic will make great garnishes, and the thyme is on reserve for a martini I will be trying later in the week so I was left with the radishes. My preferred take on the Bloody Mary is a variation known as the Ruddy Mary, made with gin instead of vodka so a gin infusion was the obvious choice.
This is the first time I’ve ever made a vegetable infused anything, so the exact amounts and times were an experiment.
Radish Infused Gin
Slice 4 radishes
Place in pint jar and top with gin
Let sit for at least 1 week, shake or stir jar once  a day
*I tried my radish gin after 4 days and the radish flavor was still quite perceptible. Time will make the flavor stronger.
Cut Radishes
2 oz. radish infused gin
5 oz. tomato juice
4-8 splashes Worcestershire sauce
4-8 splashes hot sauce
1 teaspoon brine
1 spear asparagus, blanched
1 pickled ramp
pinch black pepper
pinch smoked salt
Place all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a Collins glass with ice.
Garnish with asparagus, ramp, salt and pepper.
For this recipe I used a chipotle hot sauce and the brine from pickled ramps.
Ruddy Mary

3 Comments to “Radish Gin for Box #1”

  1. What a great surprise of a drink! I’m impressed.

  2. This sounds exciting! What kind of gin did you use?

    • Thanks. I used New Amsterdam gin which has a classic, mellow flavor that I felt would allow the radishes to come through. The common top shelf gins, such as Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray or Hendricks all have such strong flavor profiles which would compete with the infusion. The price point on New Amsterdam is also reasonable, though this is in the higher range of the mid shelf gins.

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