Congratulations to Hardy Wallace of the Dirty South wine blog for winning the Murphy-Goode intern competition. This couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, and I know that he'll bring his unique combination of Southern flavor, rap lyrics, viking horns, and action figures to the wine industry. You done good, boy!
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I've had lemongrass in Thai and Vietnamese food before, but this was my first time cooking with it. I had some with vegetables, with soup, and decided to chop up one stalk for cocktail purposes. I trimmed it, washed it, cut it into thin pieces, and then threw it in a pot of simmering white rum for a few minutes. I let it cool, then transferred the whole thing to a plastic container so that it could steep for a week.
You might be a cocktail fanatic if you've got a jar of Everclear and pineapple rinds brewing in the pantry.
1½ oz. lemongrass-infused rum or vodka
½ oz. Cointreau
½ oz. lime juice
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake, then strain. Garnish with some of the pieces of lemongrass used in the infusion. The end result is bracing and refreshing, a grown-up take on lemonade.
Best thing about having lemongrass in the house? Breaking off a piece and handing it to someone. "Here, smell this." They're always amazed.