The grounds of the co-op where we live are alive with the sound of Wood Sorrel, or more accurately—oxalis acetosella. The lovely lemony Wood Sorrel may look like a shamrock and taste similar to sorrel, but it is neither. It’s… well, it’s a member of the Oxalidaceae family. And it’s delicious. I’ve been adding it to salads for the last couple of weeks and I’m very fond of the tartness it adds. You know what else is nice with tartness? Gin. And you know what’s even nicer with gin? Me. So I set out to make a Gimlet, kind of. I started off with a classic Gimlet recipe and replaced the lime juice with muddled Wood Sorrel.
Now, before you go all Wood Sorrel mad, there’s a couple of things you should know. Let’s start on the sunny side of the street, shall we? Wood Sorrel is very high in Vitamin C. It is also a diuretic and has cooling properties that come in handy when you or yours is running a fever. It also aids in digestion, helps stop vomiting and purportedly has blood cleansing properties. So, that’s pretty great, right? Tell me your gin and lime Gimlet does that!
HOWEVER, if you suffer from kidney or rheumatic disorders you should avoid Wood Sorrel as it contains high amounts of potassium oxalate and oxalic acid. And if you have gout, leave it out. Too much raw Wood Sorrel (and I mean, like a lot over a period of time) can also leach calcium out of your bones. Cooking Wood Sorrel is supposed to make it harmless, but I suspect you lose some of the nutrients. The good news is that my kidneys are a-okay (touch wood) and I’m fine with eating Wood Sorrel in moderation.
1/2 cup Wood Sorrel leaves
2 ounces of gin
1 ounce of simple syrup (I used Douglas Fir Simple Syrup)
Wood Sorrel stems & blossom for garnish
Muddle your Wood Sorrel leaves in a shaker. I didn’t have one, so I just used a mixing glass, which was fine because I wound up scooping the leaves into the cocktail glass like a Mojito, anyway.
If you’re using a shaker, add your ice. If you’re not, save the ice for your cocktail glass and carry on.
Add an ounce of simple syrup. I used Douglas Fir syrup I had in my fridge (as one does). To make simple syrup, just add one cup of water to two cups of sugar, bring it all to a boil and allow it to cool. For Douglas fir simple syrup, boil a cup of Douglas fir tips with the water and sugar, let it steep in the covered pot for a few hours or overnight and strain out the tips. It’s so lovely. Kind of like drinking Christmas and it also makes an AMAZING lemonade.
Add two ounces of gin and shake or stir.
Pour it into a tall glass filled with ice. You can strain out the Wood Sorrel if you want something a little more pristine looking. The Wood Sorrel give it a fresh green colour. The drink needed more tartness to suit my tastes and I quite like the taste of the leaves, so I added them.
Add sparkling water to taste.
Twist a few sorrel stems together with a sorrel blossom for a tasty and pretty garnish.
Drink, congratulate yourself, repeat.