Most people I know who have planted a few nasturtium seeds now have a nasturtium jungle. The stuff grows everywhere and years after you plant nasturtiums it will have made itself at home, just like a univited guest who’ll always stay a night or two beyond their welcome.
Luckily as it is like the David Bowie of the plant world, (described by Wikipedia as “bisexual and showy”) despite their intrusion they offer a great flash of colour. You may notice too that so many pollinating insects love them and it’s always a wonder to watch bee’s nipping in and out of the flowers wiggling their little pollen laden arses* as they go.
* I know the pollen ends up on their legs, but allow me a little poetic licence.
Nasturtium vodka will vary in colour depending on the colour of your nasturtium flowers. Mine was made with bright orange flowers and it wound up to a lovely pink colour. Out of all the infusions you can make I found Nasturtium vodka one of the quickest, simplest and most enjoyable, its simplicity itself.
A 500ml/1 pint resealable (Kilner) jar full of nasturtium flowers
500ml/1 pint Vodka
Pour your vodka over the flowers. Any vodka will do, no matter how cheap. Steer clear of flavoured vodkas just because the nasturtium flavour needs no other flavour competing with it. Leave for two days. Strain back into the vodka bottle.
Although this will keep pretty indefinitely, the flavour will start to break down after a year or two and being a cabbage family it seems to taste a lot more like cabbage than fiery nasturtium.
Nasturtium Vodka cocktails
Nasturtium vodka lends itself to a variations of the Bloody Mary, as horseradish vodka does. But I had a go at experimenting and came up with the Nose twister. I’ll be experimenting a bit more but in the meantime if you come up with an interesting cocktail using this or any other of my recipes I’d love to hear your comments.
The Nose twister
Wild plants can have great folk names, wild garlic is sometimes called stinking Jenny (poor Jenny) for example and nasturtiums are no different, one of my favourite names for the nasturtium flower is the nose twister. This meant that when thinking up a name for this cocktail the choice seemed obvious!
1 part freshly squeezed orange juice
1 part dry vermouth (Noily Pratt)
1 part nasturtium Vodka
Take a cool old fashioned glass (tumbler) and pour in the orange juice, vermouth and nasturtium vodka. Top up with ice and garnish with a twist of orange peel.