Lemongrass is a crazy fast growing weed. I have two bushes and they need to be constantly trimmed down to ensure they don’t get too unruly. A while ago the weather was nice (as in not sauna hot) and I spent a couple hours trimming and cleaning the lemon grass. It smells great as you chop it. At least it has that going for it.
Various types of birds visit our backyard as well. I usually have a bird feeder that attracts all manner of birds (and the pesky squirrels too). None are more fascinating than the hummingbirds that are attracted to whatever that plant with red flowers is called (Firebush I think). They zoom from one bush to the next like little flying emeralds. I have tried to photograph them before and was never fast enough. They come and go and fly around. I could not keep up with them.
This time I literally had a lot of time on my hands and I set my camera to the “fast shutter speed” setting and took over 50 pictures as I worked and they sipped flower nectar. Several of those came out pretty damn nice! It was a good day. I hate to waste anything and it made perfect sense to make a syrup with the lemongrass trimmings and use that for a cocktail.
The name of the cocktail was pretty much coined before I even made it and required no thinking. This is the “Hummingbird Cocktail”, a sort of variation on a sour using Gin, Cachaca, egg white and lime juice plus of course the lemongrass syrup. The syrup is a basic simple syrup with equal parts water and sugar by weight. When it comes to a simmer and the sugar dissolved I added a boatload of chopped lemongrass and turned the heat off. When it cools I strained it into a jar.
The Hummingbird Cocktail
- 1.5 oz Gin (I used Beefeater)
- 0.5 oz Cachaca (a light rum would be good too)
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- 1 oz Lemongrass syrup
- 1 Egg white
- Pinch salt
Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker without any ice (dry shake) for about 20 seconds. The dry shake make for a much frothier drink. Add a cup full of ice and shake again for 20 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass over one large ice cube or several regular cubes.