Crisp, sweet asparagus is practically the official vegetable of spring. We've been known to eat it at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and now a San Francisco bartender has figured out how to drink it at cocktail hour. Dirty Habit's Brian Mean muddles it into his Stalk & Trade, which is made with caraway-scented aquavit as well as citrusy, lavender-inflected Venus gin (from nearby Santa Cruz). “It’s incredibly light and refreshing,” Means says. “The asparagus really comes through.”
If you can’t make it to Dirty Habit, try making the super-seasonal drink at home with Means's recipe, below.
Stalk & Trade
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/4 ounce aquavit
3/4 ounce ginger syrup (see Note)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3-4 small stalks of asparagus
Muddle two stalks of asparagus in a mixing glass until pulverized. Pour in the gin, aquavit, ginger syrup and lemon juice. Shake with ice for 15 seconds, then double-strain into a collins glass. Fill with shaved ice, garnish with one or two stalks of asparagus and serve.
Note: To make the ginger syrup, combine 10 ounces water, 10 ounces white sugar, 4 ounces chopped ginger and 1 ounce vodka in a pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool. The syrup will keep in the fridge for two weeks.