Curry Leaf Cocktail
I cook a lot with curry leaves, especially after having spent summers cooking with Indian chef Suvir Saran and his partner, Charlie Burd, at their American Masala Farm in upstate New York. And as I have experimented over the years with ways to infuse simple syrups, I’ve found that curry leaf makes for a super-fragrant and spiced hit of syrup. I like it with a dry sparkling wine or mixed with gin, muddled cucumber, lime juice, and mint.
Curry Leaf Simple Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
About 20 fresh curry leaves
Brut Champagne or sparkling wine, such as prosecco or cava
Cucumber spear, for garnish
1 To make the simple syrup, combine the water and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Add a few drops of lemon juice to keep the sugar from crystallizing. Add the curry leaves. Remove from the heat and let steep for about 1 hour. Remove the curry leaves and chill until ready to use. The syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks.
2 For each cocktail, pour 1 to 2 teaspoons simple syrup into each champagne flute; fill the rest of the way with Champagne. Garnish with the spear of cucumber.
(* Recipe from A Mouthful of Stars: A Constellation of Favorite Recipes from My World Travels by Kim Sunee -published by Andrews McMeel, May 2014- photographs by Leela Cyd...all rights reserved)