July and August… Hot, humid, and crazy busy, at least here in the Mid Atlantic. The farm stands are overflowing with fresh produce and my roots draw me to freezing and canning like a salmon swimming upstream. Werner says I just can’t help myself. He hides the seed catalogs when they arrive in the dead of winter as a precaution. I am just not happy without some kind of a canning garden be it ever so small.
Bee Balm is not necessarily one of the things that comes to mind in that context but let me tell you, bee balm syrup is one of those gifts of nature. It is simply delicious in so many ways. I learned to appreciate this from my sister in law(s) in Switzerland where bee balm is prized. It is so easy! Here at Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast we serve the bright red herby sweet syrup over fresh fruit in martini glasses (fruitini!) garnished with fresh bee balm stamens and a chiffonade of lemon balm. Yum! Simpler is using a few tablespoons in a glass of ice and fill with sparkling water. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Wallah!
Let your imagination wander.Before clearing the martini glasses at the end of breakfast we wander through with a bottle of prosseco to top of those last remaining bits of fruit and bee balm. It is nothing short of incredible.