We still have almost a month to go before the first day of summer, but after a weekend where the temperature almost hit triple digits (!), we're trying to get in on the tastes of spring while they last. Yes, that means asparagus, and yes, that means strawberries. But don't sleep on spring radishes.
Way more mild than than the salad radishes you normally get a the grocery store, spring radishes are sweet, crunchy, and delicious raw. They grow very fast in cool temperatures, making them one of the first things we get to eat out of our garden each year. As the soil warms up, the radishes get spicier, and while they're tasty all year long, it's the spring harvest that you don't want to miss.
They also make a great garnish for your favorite libation! Here, we're switching out the traditional vodka for gin, a cocktail variation often called a Red Snapper. We're pouring the Gin Rose from Filibuster Distillery here in Virginia, with notes of pink peppercorn, lemon peel, and rose petals. Mixed with Bloody Blue Ridge and garnished with salted baby radishes, this cocktail is floral and earthy with just a touch of sorghum sweetness.
2 oz Filibuster Distillery Gin with Rose Petals
4 oz Bloody Blue Ridge
Easter Egg radishes, trimmed and halved
Sea salt or finishing salt (we used Sel Gris)
Celery tops and lemon wheel, for garnish.
Combine the gin and Bloody Blue Ridge in a shaker over ice. Stir until very cold, and strain into a chilled glass rocks glass. Thread a cocktail pick through the halved radishes. Salt them with a pinch of coarse, grainy salt. Lay the pick across the diameter of the glass. Garnish with celery tops and a lemon wheel.