Martha Stewart was stuck in the inevitable traffic of Manhattan's United Nations week, but no diplomat was going to keep her from her date with a blender in the Bronx at one of New York City's most glorious kitchens – the New York Botanical Gardens.
On a recent early autumn evening, the Gardens presented an herb class with Martha Stewart as part of its Edible Garden exhibition. The series features a line-up of celebrity chefs.
Martha hosted her own garden this summer at the Gardens with over 50 types of herbs. The event was right on target with what is trendy in mixology right now, as we all knew a Martha Stewart event would be. The days of arcane and precious cocktails have already passed their peak, and now it is the time for simplicity in mixed drinks: going out and picking something special from the late garden and adding it to a spirit.
With a perfect New York blue fall sky in the background, a tent was set up in front of the iconic NYBG Conservatory. Hundreds of Manhattanite Martha fans were dressed in what was supposed to be "This old thing? I just came from the office," but was more suspiciously along the line of "I'm going to see Martha Stewart" Tory Burch.
The two classic cocktails that Martha focused on: a variation on a frozen daiquiri, and the classic mint julep, a drink she confessed she wasn't particularly fond of, but she did adore the silver tumblers.
Cocktails from the Garden with Martha
I call this one The Martharita. It is like a daquiri or a margarita with a sweet and sour balance.
Moisten the cocktail glass (which looks like a small martini glass) with Lillet Blanc and then place on the rim the salt/sugar combination. Do this early in the day so that the rim dries before cocktail hour.
5 basil leaves (lemon basil is especially good if you have it)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz vodka (or more if you're stuck in UN traffic)
1 tablespoon simple syrup
1 cup ice
Combine all in a blender. Top off with additional vodka if needed. Martha did.