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Archive for August 26, 2013

RECIPE: Strawberry Basil Gimlet

Finish summer in style with a Strawberry
Basil Gimlet. Photo courtesy Ruth’s Chris
Steak House.


Here‘s a “berry” summery drink: a Strawberry Basil Gimlet.

We were inspired by this photo from Ruth’s Chris Steak House to make a batch yesterday.


Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 2 parts gin*
  • 1/2 part fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup (recipe)
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 2 large strawberries
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: notched strawberry and basil leaf
    *If you’re not a gin fan, you can substitute tequila or vodka; or use a sparkling wine like Prosecco. It just won’t be an official gimlet.


    1. MUDDLE the strawberry and basil leaves in a cocktail shaker with simple syrup. If you’re making multiple cocktails, it’s easier to purée.

    2. ADD gin, lemon juice and ice, and shake well.

    3. STRAIN into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with a basil leaf and large berry, notched onto the rim.


    A gimlet is a tool for drilling small holes; the name was also used figuratively to describe something as sharp or piercing.

    The word “gimlet” for a cocktail was first used around 1928—perhaps for its effects on the drinker. According to Wikipedia, another theory is that the drink was named after British Royal Navy Surgeon Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Gimlette KCB (who served 1879 to 1913).

    Gimlette allegedly introduced the drink as a means of inducing his messmates to drink lime juice as an anti-scurvy medication. (Limes and other citrus fruit have been used by the Royal Navy for the prevention of scurvy since the mid-18th century.)

    A 1928 description of the drink was “gin, a spot of lime, and soda.” In his 1953 novel. “The Long Goodbye,” Raymond Chandler wrote that “a real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s lime juice and nothing else.”

    Forget that, Chandler: You may be a great fiction writer but nothing is better in a gimlet than fresh lime juice. If you want to use a lime juice cordial like Rose’s, here’s a homemade lime juice cordial recipe and the reason why you should make your own.
    Find more of our favorite cocktail recipes.


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    TIP OF THE DAY: Peach Lemonade Recipe

    Before all the peaches disappear from the market, make fresh peach lemonade.

    This tip was inspired by one of our favorite bloggers, Vicky of the U.K.-based blog Vicky in turn was inspired:

    “We were at a restaurant recently and they had peach lemonade on the menu. It was divine, so I had to replicate it at home, and it tasted even better.

    “It’s so refreshing on a hot day and is nice with a shot of vodka as a cocktail. So, I will continue to buy my case of peaches every week until I [no longer] can…”



  • 3 peaches, just ripe, but not over-ripe, skinned and pitted (the word is “stoned” in the U.K.)
  • 1 cup/240 ml fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup/190 g sugar
  • 6-1/4 cups/1500 ml water

    This will be a hit, so make a big pitcher of peach lemonade. Photo courtesy

  • Optional garnish: peach wedge (skin on), mint or rosemary sprig
  • Optional: shot of gin, tequila or vodka per glass

    Photo courtesy Washington State Fruit



    1. USE a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the peaches.

    2. PURÉE the skinned and pitted peaches in a food processor.

    3. PLACE the lemon juice and sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Heat until the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently. Then, add the peach purée; stir well.

    4. COOL the syrup, then add the water and refrigerate. Garnish as desired and serve.
    Find more of our favorite beverages and recipes.


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    PRODUCT: Black Rice Tortillas, Exotic & Gluten Free

    Yes, there are gluten-free tortillas from Rudi’s and Udi’s that have been lifesavers for Mexican food fans who follow a gluten free diet.

    But now there are even better ones: black rice tortillas from Food For Life. Exotic, gluten free, vegan and yeast free, they are ready to be turned into:

  • Crust, e.g. for chicken pot pie
  • Croutons (cut into strips, fry and season)
  • Mexican favorites: burritos, empanadas,
    enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas
  • “Mexican lasagne”
  • Sandwich wraps
  • Tortilla chips and nachos (cut into triangles and bake into chips)
  • Tortilla “pizza”

    Gluten-free wraps are dramatic as well as tasty. Photo courtesy Food For Life.


    Black rice, also known as purple rice and forbidden rice, is a group of rice types that are black or dark brown when harvested, but turn purple when cooked.

    Unlike refined white rice, black rice is a whole grain loaded with fiber, 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, vitamins, minerals and anthocyanins (the same antioxidants that are found in like those found in açaí, blackberries, blueberries and tart cherries, and give all of these foods their deep pigments).


    Quesadillas with a twist. Photo courtesy


    In ancient times, black rice was reserved exclusively for Chinese emperors—thus the name forbidden rice. (See the different types of rice.)

    Today, you don’t have to be royalty to enjoy black rice—you can buy it at almost any natural foods store and online. It makes an especially glamorous rice pudding: Thai black rice pudding with coconut milk.

    A healthier alternative to traditional wheat flour tortillas, these black rice tortillas are tastier, too.

    One thing to watch out for: We didn’t see an expiration on our package and left them out at room temperature. The tortillas are actually pretty fragile: the shelf life is five days at room temperature. But they’ll stay fresh for three weeks when refrigerated and one year frozen.


    The tortillas are certified kosher by KOF-K.

    Here’s a recipe for homemade gluten-free tortillas.

    Here are some of our favorite gluten-free products.

    For information on gluten intolerance, visit the Celiac Disease Foundation.


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