This light, vegetal snap pea sour couldn’t be a better ambassador for the garden season.
Few things make me happier than the return of spring produce. There’s no better inspiration for new recipes than a stroll through the farmer’s market, thinking up ways to use all of the new arrivals as they appear. I’ve already sung the praises of rhubarb and its perfection as a cocktail ingredient, so now I’d like to introduce another seasonal friend: the snap pea.
Vegetal cocktails are not always an easy sell (I have yet to really crack asparagus), but snap peas have a slight sweetness that makes them a natural pairing for lighter drinks like lemonades, tonics, and sours. This particular recipe is a bit of each: a sour using fresh lemon and tonic water as opposed to the usual seltzer. I really like the slightly earthy edge a good vegetable brings to the table. It instantly brings to mind the outdoors, and makes me want to sit in the sunshine with my feet in the grass.
Another advantage of fresh snap peas as a cocktail ingredient is that they infuse really quickly; the vodka infusion I used for this recipe only needed an hour to reach peak snap pea flavor. And if you want to skip the added ingredients and steps the sour calls for, you use it to make a simple, seasonal vodka tonic (garnish with a lemon wedge instead of lime).
- 2 oz snap pea infused vodka
- 1 oz ginger liqueur (I used Canton)
- .5 oz fresh squeezed/strained lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- 2 cucumber slices (plus 1 for garnish)
- 2 oz tonic water
- For the infusion, combine ⅔ cup roughly chopped snap peas with 1 cup vodka. Let sit for one hour, stirring occasionally, then strain through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store in fridge.
- For the cocktail, muddle the cucumber with the vodka in a separate bowl or cup (I use a measuring glass for easy pouring), then strain into a cocktail shaker.
- Add the ginger liqueur, lemon juice, egg white, and two ice cubes.
- Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
- Fill a rocks glass with ice and two ounces of tonic water.
- Pour the cocktail over the tonic water and garnish with an additional slice of cucumber.
- Optional garnish: pea shoots (as pictured) or mint.
You can omit the egg white it makes you uncomfortable. I like the extra body and foam it produces, but I realize it’s not for everyone. In some cases, you’re betting off just skipping the cocktail altogether, but this snap pea sour is great without the egg white as well.
That’s it! A simple, seasonal, snap pea sour. If you need me, I’ll be drinking on of these on the porch, dreaming of the warm days and fresh produce yet to come, grateful as anything for what’s already here.
If you want to get into the garden groove but aren’t really into vegetal cocktails, check out my Garden Party recipe. It’s equally light and floaty, but has a strictly floral profile. And if you’re looking for a seasonal sour with a slightly shorter ingredient list, check out my Spring IPA Sour!
If you try this Snap Pea Sour recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #gooddrink @colljeffers on Instagram. I love seeing your creations. Cheers, friends!