My daffodils are on the cusp.
Those buds have been holding firm during our indecisive late winter weather. Ice one day, snow another. In the 70's for one day, 40's the next. Oops, how about a few more inches of snow and then an all day downpour.
Jeesh... enough already!
With fingers crossed, I am hoping to see their pretty yellow faces this week. Our snow has now melted and we are predicted to be in the 60's most of the week.
In fact, our lovely weekend allowed for some time spent in the garden. I managed to pick up 3 wheelbarrows full of downed limbs and twigs, fill my large bucket with weeds and trim back some of the perennials and herbs.
Gardening is a hobby I enjoy even though it can be a lot of work.
Sometimes after the work is done for the day I enjoy a glass of wine on the patio. A nice time to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Recently I was offered the opportunity to sample and review a product called JARDESCA.
After reading the description, I could envision it as a nice wine to sip surrounded by the sights and sounds of the garden.
What is it?
JARDESCA is a new, exciting and versatile aperitif handcrafted in Sonoma, CA - a blend of three white wines and eau de vie brightened by 10 botanicals - inspired by the gardens and vineyards of California. Europeans have long enjoyed the palate-refreshing benefits of aperitifs and Americans are finally catching on as noted with the growing trend of using aperitifs for low-proof, wine-based cocktails. But now we have our own "perfect opener" and it not only works well as an ingredient in simple cocktails, it's beautifully sippable solo on the rocks with a fresh citrus and garden garnish (orange is my personal favorite, with basil, mint, or thyme - all lovely!) or topped off with sparkling water or wine.
What are some of the botanicals in Jardesca?
--Botanicals are at the heart of Jardesca, giving it the garden-to-glass and palate freshening properties that give it complexity and depth.There are 10 botanicals used in the Jardesca blend, including pink peppercorn, pink grapefruit peel and bay laurel – inspired by the flavors and notes of California gardens.
Someday I'd like to visit the wine country of Napa Valley and Sonoma. In the meantime I will enjoy a taste of the region in my own garden.
The bottle is so pretty and reminiscent of a garden with the lattice background. Note the blue and yellow flowers too.
I liked the idea of adding fresh citrus and a garden garnish.
After a bit of rummaging around the herb garden I was able to find a few sprigs of lemon balm poking their heads out from the slowly warming earth.
My first sip told me that this was something a bit different from my usual glass of wine. Slightly higher alcohol content due to the apertif nature. While I won't pretend to be able to pick out each of the botanicals, I did detect a pleasant slightly fruity scent. My addition of oranges and lemon balm increased the fruitiness, although I would by no means label it a sweet taste.
Once the garden gets growing I look forward to some new flavor combinations. Perhaps some fresh mint or basil would be nice.
The folks at JARDESCA provided the following recipes for those wanting to take it up a notch ;-).
Pour three fingers of Jardesca (3 oz) over ice in a stemless wine glass or rocks glass
Add 2 oz Prosecco or sparking wine
Add your favorite citrus or herb garnish (an easy way to present garnishes so that you don't get stuck bartending your own party: lay out a tray of sparkling water and wine, even a bottle of gin or pisco (which works beautifully as a complementing grape spirit), an array of fresh herbs - mint, basil, thyme, lemon verbena; fresh citrus (meyer lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, orange) and a fresh juice or two and let people play! It's a great conversation-starter!
Jardesca Ruby Sparkler
From nationally-acclaimed mixologist, Duggan McDonnell (San Francisco)
3 oz Jardesca
1 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
2 Sparkling Moscato
Stir, fill glass with ice, garnish with floating pomegranate seeds and a sprig of mint
HIS & HERS
Drop fresh berries into the base of the glass
3 oz Jardesca
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
3 oz Ginger Beer
Add ice, stir, float 1 oz Pinot Noir,
Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.
Currently JARDESCA is available in California or online.
More information is available on their lovely website here if you are interested.