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RECIPE: Chervil Sour

Here’s something different: A cocktail based on muddled herbs. The Chervil Sour was created by Jeff Bareilles, Wine and Beverage Director at Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos, California.

 
RECIPE: CHERVIL SOUR

Ingredients Per Drink

  • 15–20 chervil leaves
  • 2 ounces pisco
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
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    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the chervil and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker or pint glass. Add all other ingredients and ice. Shake vigorously until egg white is frothy.

    2. STRAIN into a coupe glass and top with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and garnish with a small chervil leaf.
     
     
    WHAT IS CHERVIL?

    Chervil, sometimes called garden chervil or French parsley, is an annual herb related to parsley, but more delicate in both appearance and flavor. It has a faint taste of licorice or anise seed.

    Chervil is a popular French seasoning for poultry, seafood and vegetable dishes (the word in French is cerfeuil, sir-FOEY).

  • It is one of the four ingredients of the French herb mixture fines herbes (feen-erb): chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon, used to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables, soups and sauces.
  • These herbs are called fine (delicate) as opposed to the stronger flavors of the bouquet garni (garnished bouquet). These “hardy” herbs—more pungent and/or resinous—are used to flavor soups, stocks and stews.
  • Bouquets garni can also include some fines herbes. Popular ingredients are basil, bay leaf; burnet, chervil, parsley, rosemary, savory and tarragon and thyme. They are tied in a bunch with a string, or in a piece of cheesecloth, so they can be easily removed from the pot.
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    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/chervil bunch www.herbtable.com 230

    Top: The Chervil Sour served at Manresa restaurant. Bottom: A bunch of fresh chervil. Photo courtesy HerbTable.com.

     
    How To Handle Chervil

    Hardy herbs—bay leaf, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme—will stay green for a week or two in the fridge (keep them dry in the produce drawer).

    Delicate herbs—basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, tarragon—wilt and turn yellow faster, and need special attention. 

  • Remove any ties or rubber bands and trim off the root ends and the leafless part of the stem (you can save the roots to flavor soups and stocks).
  • Place the herbs in a glass with a couple inches of water, cover with a plastic bag (we use a bag from the produce apartment) and secure the bag, as needed, with an elastic band.
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