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.