Why should only the oenophiles and mojito-swillers have all the fun? If one is not in the mood or mind for a stiff one, options for a smart aperitif are usually pretty glum. Do you really want another Diet Coke? In restaurants and bars you can get some variation on the grapefruit-cranberry-seltzer combo, but that's nothing to write home either.
Hence our affinity for home-concocted mocktails, like this recipe for Rosemary-Mint Cordial. Adventures into new taste frontiers in the drinks department are catnip to all. Look no further than World Famous Ginger Ale for proof. Even those dead set on getting hoot 'n' hollerin' drunk will toss a homemade mocktail down the hatch before settling into a night of leisurely home drinking. (Good luck with those guys….)
Rosemary and mint are felicitous combination for a base of a sparkling libation. There's a good a reason why there's no mint soda on the market. And rosemary doesn't flavor many beverage, though I suppose some wine lovers have detected "notes" of the herb in wines, Lord knows everything else has been detected in tastings.
Anyway, Rosemary Mint Cordial is keeps the flavors of the fresh herbs bright and create a unique meeting place between the sweet and savory. Try 1/2 c . or so mixed with a liter of seltzer. Test taste in advance, as this is pretty heady stuff and too much could be overwhelming.
Raise a glass of Rosemary Mint Cordial mocktail at your next sips and nibbles gathering!
Dissolve the sugar in the cider or juice in a pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, add the herbs, let simmer for a minute or two, then remove from heat and set aside. Cover and let steep two or three days, refrigerated.
Strain out the herb leaves, add the vinegar and lemon juice and bring back to a boil. Pour into 1/2 c. jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath for five minutes.
Note: you can add a mint leaf and rosemary sprig to the jars (as I have here) to enhance their appearance in the larder, but fish out those garnishes before mixing into drinks.
To serve, start with 1/4 c. of cordial mixed with seltzer and see if that's too your liking. If not, up the cordial-seltzer ratio until you've hit the intensity you desire.