In our Charleston Garden at Circa 1886

As you enter the grounds of the Wentworth Mansion, you will see a flourishing herb garden used by the chefs and bartenders daily at Circa 1886. We've been having a lot of fun this summer exploring the different flavors in our garden. From dishes in the kitchen to drinks at the bar, we have many garden-inspired dishes on our summer menu. Below are a few recipes we gathered to help you bring your garden into your kitchen at home. Circa Herb Garden   In the Kitchen: From the sweet to savory, Chef Marc Collins uses herbs in almost every dish on the menu. He recommends using herbs to enhance the flavor of your dishes -specifically basil in his recipe for Caramelized Applewood Smoked BLTs. This summer hors d'oeuvre is great for entertaining and can put a casual spin on the most upscale event. Candied-Bacon-BLT Caramelized Applewood Smoked Bacon BLTs: 4 Slices Pullman Loaf Bread 16 Sun-dried Tomatoes 1½ cup Boiling Water ½ tsp. Granulated Garlic ½ tsp. Granulated Onion ½ tsp. Kosher Salt 5 Tbsp. Olive Oil (plus a little more for drizzling) 8 sprigs Thyme 1 Iceberg Lettuce 4 Pieces of thick sliced Applewood Smoked Bacon 1 cup Sugar 12 Large Leaves of Basil ½ cup Mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. Blood Orange Vinegar   Take the bread and slice just the crust off to form a square. Next cut the bread into 4 equal squares by cutting it in half top to bottom and left to right. Drizzle the squares with a little oil and place them on a tray to bake. Bake them in a 385° oven until toasted and light brown. About 4-6 minutes. Set aside. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small container. Pour the boiling water over them and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Drain well. Pat the tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Dice the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Add the granulated onion, garlic, salt and 5 tablespoons of olive oil to the tomatoes. Pull the tiny leaves off the thyme. Chop the leaves up a bit and add them to the tomatoes mixture. Place the sugar in a shallow dish or small pan. Dredge the bacon in the sugar making sure it is completely coated. Lightly shake off the excess sugar and place it on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Bake this for 10-15 minutes. Turn it once in the middle of its baking cycle so that it evenly browns. Once the sugar has caramelized pull the bacon off the tray and place it on a wire rack till it has completely cooled. Once it has cooled take each piece of bacon and cut them into 4 equal pieces. In a blender place the mayonnaise, basil leaves and blood orange vinegar. Blend this all together until it turns a nice green color. Lastly, slice the iceberg lettuce paper thin or you may cut them into small squares about the size of your toast. At this point we are ready to assemble the BLT. Spread the basil mayo on the toast points. Top this with a bit of the lettuce, then the sundried tomato mixture, then 2 pieces of the bacon. Enjoy!   In the Bar:

Our bartender, John Martindale, was inspired by our garden to create a new cocktail that will be released this week. The Mansion Mule combines the light, bright flavors of basil and lime with the heavier flavors of ginger and bourbon. Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 1.24.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 1.25.59 PM John says this is the perfect end-of-summer drink for Charleston as we have balmy days but are starting to prepare for cooler evenings. The Mansion Mule is a play on the traditional Moscow Mule, with a liquor that is more substantial, and the perfect transition into fall. The Mansion Mule: 2 oz. Bulleit Rye Whiskey 1/2 oz. Basil Lime Cordial (recipe below) 1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice Shake Whiskey, Basil Lime Cordial, and Lime Juice. Strain this mixture into an ice filled mule mug. Top with Ginger Beer. Clap a sprig of basil in your hand to release the oils and garnish with this basil sprig. Basil Lime Cordial: 12 oz. Simple Syrup Zest of 6 Limes 2 Handfuls of Basil Make simple syrup by boiling equal parts sugar and water. Once the mixtures begins to boil, remove the liquid from the heat. When the syrup starts to cool add a the lime zest and steep for 10 minutes. Add a handful of basil to steep for 20-30 minutes. Remove basil and keep refrigerated.   Join us at Circa 1886 Restaurant for a garden-inspired dinner comprised of summer flavors and local ingredients. Call us at (843) 853-7828 or make reservations online.
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