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Borage & Elderflower Splash

This summer cocktail is as lovely to look at as it is refreshing. The first step is to make a simple syrup of fresh borage flowers and leaves, which is then combined with St. Germain (elderflower liquor available in most liquor stores), lime juice and club soda. To make the presentation complete, freeze borage flowers in ice cube trays and serve at cocktail hour. Use young, tender leaves for this recipe as older leaves are a bit hairy. Did you know? Young ladies used to spike the tea of their suitors with borage, so that they might muster the courage to propose marriage. To make the simple syrup: Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, while stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to a boil. Stir in 1/2 cup borage flowers and leaves. Reduce heat and cover; simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let the mixture steep, while covered, for 1-2 hours. Strain though a fine mesh strainer, reserving the syrup in a glass measuring cup or other container. Bottle and store in the refrigerator. Use within two weeks. To make the drink: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the 1 1/2 ounces of gin, 1/2 ounce St. Germain, 1/2 ounce borage syrup, a splash of club soda, and the juice of a wedge of fresh lime. Shake well and strain into a a cocktail class. Add a few pretty borage ice cubes, another splash of club soda and serve.

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