Follow the river, and go through the woods here at the CVI property and you will end up in a magical grove of Christmas spruce trees. Nestled among these trees are our very own prolific beehives, dripping with the most delicious honey. I wanted to capture this enchanting place in an imbibable form, where every sip will take you back time and again. Honey and spruce were a natural starting point, and juniper soon followed, which led to the obvious choice of liquor: Gin. What else could make it magical? Well, bubbles of course! A gnarled turn on the classic French 75 cocktail produces a fresh and fun drink worthy of winter celebrations.
- For the Juniper and Spruce Honey syrup:
- Juniper berries
- 3 four inch sprigs (fresh spruce)
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 cup water
- 1½ oz Hendrick’s Gin
- ½ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz juniper and spruce honey syrup
- 2 oz prosecco or other sparkling wine
- Fresh huckleberries, or lemon twist for garnish
In a small saucepan, dissolve raw honey in boiling water.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the juniper berries a bit to allow for maximum flavor extraction.
Remove honey syrup from heat and immediately add crushed juniper berries and spruce sprigs.
Cover and let steep for at least 15 minutes.
Taste every so often, as you do not want the juniper and spruce flavor to overpower the cocktail.
When the honey syrup has taken on just enough of the flavor profile, strain out the juniper and spruce.
Let cool completely and refrigerate.
For the Cocktail:
Chill a traditional coupe glass.
In a shaker, combine Hendrick’s Gin, lemon, and juniper and spruce honey syrup.
Add ice and shake.
Strain mixture into chilled coupe glass.
Top with 2 oz ice cold prosecco and garnish with fresh huckleberries.