I hope you all are having a most blessed summer. Here we have a full Moon offering from our friend, Lindsey Higo.
~Noah D. C.
Hello fellow moonbaskers and stargazers,
Summer heat is arriving fast, and my garden flourishes after the toils of spring planting. The Strawberry Moon, known also as the Honey or Mead moon, will arrive on June 14th, just one week ahead of the solstice. In many regions, June is the time that fruiting plants, like strawberries and their relatives, are gathered and fill our baskets to bursting. I often draw on these two words, abundance and gathering, when I welcome people into my social circle or space, especially around the Summer Solstice, as it is a day much anticipated in our home.
An added level of excitement nudges at my thoughts as this will also be one of the supermoons of 2022. There is something so breathtaking as the moon crests over the horizon, appearing to swell and fill the sky. I’ve been known to stop what I’m doing, dash outside and take a few deep breaths as my skin tingles under its bright glow. The Strawberry Moon will be 222,238.4 miles (357,658km) from us, which in Earth miles is so far, yet in space might as well be next door. Regardless, you may be tempted to reach out… just to see if you can touch it after all.
My days around the solstice used to be bustling with activity (moon basking aside). I made a point to seek out friends and welcome them into my home or garden. The bonds of these relationships grow a little differently on a summer evening. When the sun’s light turns soft, and the moon begins its ascent, the warm air mixes with the soft chorus of nature, urging us to slow down and recover from the heat of the day. It’s this perfect combination that invites people to linger at a gathering. In light of the changing world, the pace of my solstice celebrations has slowed and the gathering has grown smaller and more intimate, making the time I spend with others so precious.
Even without the crowd of years past, I am still determined to prepare an appropriate offering to toast the season. This determination is not only rooted in being a good host but also as a cocktail enthusiast. While my journey with spirited beverages started as many of ours do, in the rowdy yards and packed homes of university students it was the years afterward, spent carefully reading, experimenting and tasting my way around the world that has given me an appreciation for the craft that I can’t help but share. Making and offering a flavorful balanced drink is an experience. You aren’t just combining liquids: there is a thoughtfulness for the occasion and an understanding of what flavors and palate suits your guest- especially during festive times of the year. I love the chance to give my guests something unique! There's a thrilling challenge to finding the right flavors to associate with celebrations and keep my guests' tastes a top priority. I hope with that inspiration and spirit in mind you will take time and join me in preparing a libation fit for toasting the light of the summer moon, solstice and in appreciation for those close to you.
Strawberry Gin Punch
3oz gin of your choice: I recommend one with floral botanicals. Consider Empress 1908, The Botanist or Hendricks Midsummer Solstice. This spirit will be the heart of your drink so if the urge compels you, charge it under the full moon with the intention to share the abundance you have with those you are imbibing with.
1.5oz strawberry syrup: Create with the intention of sharing the bounty in your life whether it’s food, friends or family. Easily crafted with 5-6 large strawberries (sliced), 1 cup water and ½ cup honey, bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until strawberries are very soft. Set aside until cool. Strain off the syrup into an airtight container. You can save the berry bits for later, for a simple jam for toast or for your compost or garden.
.75oz fresh lemon juice: Draw in happiness and friendship. Embrace the lemon’s tartness to balance the sweetness of your other ingredients.
Fresh rosemary sprigs: Gather from your garden or wherever you find herbs to encourage love for the self and those around you. Rosemary will also help lure out the botanical flavors present in the gin you have chosen.
1.5-2oz sweet sparkling wine or mead: A nod to European nicknames for this moon, you will top your cocktail with happiness and love. June is a traditional month for marriages but feel free to expand that energy into relationships both romantic and platonic, love abounds.
Combine all liquids, except for wine/mead, and several rosemary needles into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake about 15-30 seconds until the shaker is frosted over in your hand. Pour into your favorite stemmed glassware pre-chilled, until ¾ full. Top with wine or mead and garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.
This recipe will yield two cocktails*, so invite someone into your garden or onto the porch for a sip and ask them to stay awhile.
*You can also scale this recipe up for a communal punch bowl or pitcher to pass around, chill all ingredients in advance, combine, stir well in your container and top with your wine or mead just before guests arrive. Add an ice block or ice ring to keep it cool while you entertain.
Lindsey Higo is a spirited hostess living in Denver, Colorado, who spends time puttering around her patio garden, reading on a dark and stormy night (or any night for that matter) and entertaining. Her cocktail crafting skills have been honed through years of trial and error and “here take a sip of this” is a key step in her creative process. When inspiration strikes you can find recipes and her favorite haunts on her Instagram @cocktail_curious. She is also an active member of the Japanese Tea community in Colorado where she practices the spirit of boundless guest hospitality and mindfulness in the principle of “ichi-go, ichi-e”/“one time, one meeting” taking it beyond the contemplative Tea space and into her home and community.
© 2019-2021 collective.aporia