Every Mom Needs a Gardener!

It’s not Mother’s Day yet, but I’m getting ready. There will be no kids to bring me flowers or make me breakfast this year, but that’s OK, I understand. Really, I do. Really, really, I do. Yes, I do. Maybe a card will come in the mail, but yes, life does move on and I do get to see them both soon and I just saw them a few weeks ago, so I’m not complaining. But I did love Mother’s Day when they were young. It was fun to see their cooking skills improve as they got older. Yes, they made me eggs benedict with smoked salmon, but usually it was an omelet. Manservant used to do that part. And they always brought it to my bed on a tray that was needlepointed for me by Ilse, my third grandma. The blue tray always always held the one bloomed red tulip that was in the front yard closest to the front door.

Usually the weather was nice, so we went for a bike ride on the canal and sometimes we I even made a picnic. Often we did yard work and planted flowers and it was the one day they were always eager to help. Well, this year will find me in the yard if the weather holds, (though it isn’t supposed to) because I am way behind in my yard work. We have an incredible amount of dandelions and I have no idea why. The weeds are already tall and I need to get things in shape before Zoe arrives for Memorial Day.

Gardening has put me in the mood for one of my new favorite cocktails. I discovered this when we ate at Alex’s restaurant. Well, not really Alex’s restaurant. Don’t I wish? But the restaurant where Alex works. Matsuhisa makes what they call a gardener’s cocktail. I don’t know where this came from, but now that I am paying attention I see they are on a lot of restaurant menus, though they are all made a bit different. The one key ingredient they all seem to have is something fresh and herby and green. I’ve seen these made with cucumbers and basil but Matsuhisa’s is made with ginger and jalapeno and cilantro.


I only consumed one while we were there, so this drink is based on my incredible memory and a few questions I asked the bartender. Manservant did the rest. He is the mixologist in our family. I am the drinker. I just wanted that to be clear. I am the cook. He is the eater. We have very established roles in this pack.

And now I can see why many bloggers post drinks on Friday. What a great day to get the weekend started. Yes, I am sitting here in this highly charged, very creative environment, sending out this somewhat dizzy blog. And this doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I need a nap. And then maybe when I wake up there will be a fresh one waiting for me!


My highly creative environment with one too many computer screens!

I love this drink. Yes, it does work great with Asian food, but it would be great with Mexican food, too. Or a burger for that matter. It has some spice, some herbiness (is that a word?) and it is such a beautiful shade of green. My kitchen is painted bright green, so I like green. And green does remind you of a garden, right? Well, maybe not my garden… I have never had much of a green thumb, but I try really hard.

We made this drink in Phoenix when we were visiting and my mother had a sip. Then she had two sips and before you know it, it was gone. Now, on a side note I should mention that my father has a really incredible wine cellar. And they both love wine. But I discovered something about my mom. She loves cocktails. Yes, she does. And cocktails love her. She relaxes and smiles more and I think really enjoys the happy hour. Especially the French onion dip. She even complained when Manservant made me a drink and didn’t offer her one. Yes, I do think she’d choose a cocktail over a glass of wine.


As a child, I remember my mom and dad attended many cocktail parties. She always wore a little cocktail dress and blue eye shadow and Joy or Shalimar perfume. She smoked her cigarette while she applied heavy makeup in the bathroom. She doesn’t smoke or wear heavy makeup anymore, but I just needed to set the scene. She always had hair that looked a lot like Jackie’s. Her clothes looked a lot like Jackie’s, and if you don’t know the Jackie I’m talking about, just look up 1962. I was 5. And my mom was gorgeous. And glamorous. And I loved to watch, but I hated that cigarette. And then they left; after the babysitter had come. And the lingering trace of perfume and smoke was in the air, while we ate pizza rolls and watched Disney or Batman.

So Mom! This drink is for you! Have Dad make you one. Or two. And enjoy your Mother’s Day. I’m thinking of you. Here’s sending you a virtual hug and kiss and a Happy Mother’s Day. And the best part is, I’ll be drinking one, too. Love you, Mom!


The Gardener (by way of Matsuhisa and the Manservant)
Yield: 1 Cocktail

Chill your glass. I used what you see, but a martini glass works, too. Or a high ball. You can do this on the rocks or not. I am not picky. Keep your gin chilled, too. It is important to always be ready, because you never know when the need for a drink will strike. Make sure you use clean ice, because the freezer can impart weird flavors to the ice. Manservant told me to rinse the ice. I did.

Ginger – Peeled, so there are no floaties. Manservant told me to say this. When it comes to drinks, I take him on his word. You will need 1 peeled slice, about an 1/8″ thick and in a 1″ round size. Ginger is not perfectly sized, so do your best.

Jalapeno – 1 unseeded 1/4″ thick slice

Cilantro – 1/8 c (No need to chop)

Now put those three things into a shaker. Muddle them well. Be aggressive. Manservant told me I wasn’t being aggressive enough when it came to muddling. So just break that shit up.

Now add:
1/2 shot of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 shot of Agave nectar or simple syrup
1 shot of Hendricks gin

Add some ice (no fancy ice in this house) to your shaker that is filled with cilantro, jalapeno and ginger. Add the lime juice and agave and gin. Now shake. Be aggressive with the shake, too. Strain into glass of your choice. Drink. Feel the green. Be a wild and crazy mother for Mother’s Day. Your kids will not forget, I promise. That is if they are there…

Matsuhisa says to try another version made with fresh red peppers. We haven’t gotten to that yet. But we will. I also think that adding club soda to this would make a lighter, more sparkly drink for  the wummer. I mean summer. Your choice. Happy Mother’s Day!


One too many gardeners!

Great Foods for May:

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  • Debra Eliotseats
    May 28, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Why have I not visited you before? Came over to check out this cocktail from Mother Goose Mama. Love your style and humor! Gotta make this soon!

  • Little Kids
    May 15, 2014 at 6:50 am

    This drink looks awakening! I love green too, happy mother's day.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Thanks so much! It is a pretty green, is it not?

  • Amy (Savory Moments)
    May 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    Wow – what a different drink! Spicy and really flavorful!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      It is different and it is very good! I promise!

  • Biz
    May 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    A spicy cocktail?! Right up my alley! I had actually never heard of Hendricks until I started at the restaurant – all the liquor is sorted by category – and she wanted a Hendricks and soda – huh – took me a while but I finally shouted "gin!" when I found it! Even though you didn't have your kids with you, I hope you had a great Momma Day!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks, Biz. it was a quiet day, but a relaxing one! Hope yours was good, too!

  • zoe
    May 12, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Happy Mother's Day Mommy!!! I will be sure to make you plenty of cocktails when I come home in less than 2 weeks!!! I cannot wait to see you and celebrate a belated Mother's Day. I love you to the moon and back a million times over. Thank you for everything you do for me (as if a thank you is enough). Have a drink or three for me. Your best and only daughter, Zoe.

    May 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Yes one glass please.

  • Anna and Liz Recipes
    May 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Very Nice Abbe! We 're not big on cocktails, but this looks delicious! We would love to try this one for sure. Have a wonderful Mother's Day! 🙂

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Hope you had a good one and that you enjoy this drink! Once you start cocktailing it is hard to go back to just wine! Well, not that hard!

  • sprinklesandsauce
    May 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    such a great combination of ingredients! love the gardener!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      And I promise you will love it even more after you drink one!

  • Juliana
    May 11, 2014 at 1:11 am

    This cocktail sounds and looks delicious Abbe…jalapeno, ginger, cilantro…and gin, one of my favorite!
    Happy Mother's Day 😀

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Definitely a new favorite of mine, Juliana!

  • Libby W.
    May 11, 2014 at 1:09 am

    DEarest Abs, Thank you for the lovely memories of good times past. I even shed a tear. So did Dad. Have a very happy day doing whatever makes you happy. Mothers day is also for Dads. Love you lots….Your Mom

    • zoe
      May 12, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Grandma, hope you enjoyed a nice cocktail at bunch today. I love you!

  • Barb | Creative Culinary
    May 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I used to have my girls help me with my garden on Mother's Day too; it was the only gift I wanted. Now they're both out of state and we're expecting snow? I might be planning my garden; that's about it!

    I love trying new things and I've recently had a cocktail with cucumber; so surprisingly good; why shouldn't the veggies of the world have their day in the sun; or gin as it were! Happy Mother's Day Abbe!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      You to, Barb! And I hope you kept warm on Mother's Day!

  • Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens
    May 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    This post is full of so many sweet stories – I just love it! I can totally relate to gardening on Mother's Day – there have actually been years when that's all I requested to do – to please just have the free time I needed to fill my planters and beds with flowers for the summer! And I loved the story of your mom and how you loved to watch her get ready to go out – it makes me wonder what my own kiddos will remember about nights like that. Oh – and this cocktail sounds just perfect for summer – so light and crisp and refreshing! Just lovely! Happy, happy Mother's Day to you! 😀

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

      I hope you had a good one to, Shelley! Mother's Day can be nice or it can be uneventful. wWth the kids around they were a whole lot more meaningful!

  • Shirley Tay
    May 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Definitely need a drink to recharge myself & yours is a great choice! Here's wishing you a Happy Mother's Day, Abbe! xoxo

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks Shirley! This is a fun cocktail to drink and make!

  • Guru Uru
    May 10, 2014 at 3:22 am

    What a perfect cocktail my friend, perfect for Mothers Day 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Angie Schneider
    May 10, 2014 at 3:05 am

    That sounds like a great drink, Abbe. Drink a few more and have a terrific Mother's Day and weekend!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks Angie. Since it snowed i was able to relax!

  • Holly @ abakershouse.com
    May 10, 2014 at 1:23 am

    I don't think your outside yard work plans will last this weekend– snow in the forecast!! But the sun will reappear soon enough and summer temps will set in and when that does happen I will need a cocktail to end what will surely be a long afternoon of working in the yard. My yard is postage stamp in size but still takes more time each weekend than I think it should.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      My yard is way too big. And we let it go for a few years so it takes a lot to get back in shape! Summer to me is like having two houses that both require a ton of care. One is in. The other is out!

  • Liz Berg
    May 10, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I remember my mom getting ready for cocktail parties, too…her scent was Tabu 🙂 Hope you have a terrific Mother's Day…and that you're served a lovely cocktail!

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      I remember Tabu! Hope you had a great day too, Liz!

  • Kitchen Riffs
    May 10, 2014 at 12:36 am

    "Maybe a card will come in the mail . . ." Think you just guaranteed yourselves a couple of cards, or at least telephone calls? Yeah, me too. 😀 Interesting drink. I don't do many savory drinks like this, but I've been toying with the idea. A touch of club soda with this would be awfully nice, I think.And since you're using Hendrick's, maybe some cucumber (since that's one of the aroma notes of that gin, as I recall). Good stuff! Happy Mom's Day. And thanks for this.

    • Abbe Odenwalder
      May 16, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Well, I never knew what a savory cocktail was, but I guess I'm drinking it! You will enjoy this, it is quite refreshing! Thanks and there were no cards in the mail, but there were phone calls.The weird thing is that they called within 5 minutes of each other!