|To commemorate the Royal Wedding.|
People often grouse about the Monarchy in England, about its being occupied by dinosaurs, about being an institution that has outlived itself. Maybe, but I think the world needs a good royal wedding from time to time. Most people feel their lives are rather bland and predictable and once in a while I think it's good to let your fantasies run wild and imagine what life must be like for those who seem to have it all. Few of us will ever have a 30 million dollar (or pound), wedding, or can even imagine having 6,000 of our closest friends in attendance.
When I was in Italy in 2005, Prince Williams' father, Prince Charles was one of the speakers at the Slow Foods Conference. I was impressed at his knowledge and dedication to not only gardening, but pushing organic gardening in England. Our friend, Elvin McDonald traveled to England to interview Prince Charles, in his garden, and told me that Charles is a very dedicated gardener who actually works in his own gardens.
I was recently inspired by reading Amanada's Dablings and Whimsies blog post of lilac syrup and lilac martinis (in response to my Lilac Sorbet recipe) and she gave me an idea. It's perfect timing that Sweet Williams are bursting into flower today in the first sunshine we've had in over a week.
|Sweet Williams are a biennial, plant one year, bloom the next.|
So in honor of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's wedding on April 29, I offer up the Sweet William and Catherine Martini (and for those who don't drink alcohol, you can leave out the vodka and put in some fizzy water). Make a batch and give a toast to the royal couple tomorrow.
|If you don't have Sweet Williams in bloom, use dianthus, they're relatives and taste the same.|
First you'll need 1 cup of fresh Sweet William (or similar dianthus) flowers. Stems picked off, just the flowers. You'll also need 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of white sugar.
|Sweet Williams come in various shades of pink, red and white. All are fragrant and all have a spicy, clove-like flavor.|
Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the flowers, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Cover pan and let the syrup cool for a few hours or overnight. Strain out and discard the flowers. Add a drop of red color, if desired. You now have about a cup of Sweet William syrup. Use it over ice cream, over strawberry shortcake, or in a Sweet William martini to toast the royal couple.
|Not having martini glasses, I chose the closest thing. These look more royal, anyway.|
Prince William and Catherine's Martini
3 oz. vodka
1 1/2 ounces Sweet William syrup
Fill a martini shaker with ice. Add vodka and Sweet William syrup and shake.
Pour into 2 martini glasses and garnish with a sprig of dianthus, in honor of Prince Williams' mother, Diana
|Dianthus, a close relative of Sweet William, much like Princess Diana was mother of Prince William.|
|Kate Middleton and Prince William|