SE7EN'S A BANQUET, 9INE'S A BRAWL.

A Foraged Cocktail (Spruce Tip Syrup)

Posted On December 21st, 2014 Author Lia Rinaldo

Spruce Tip Syrup
Makes 1 pint. 5 minutes of prep, 5 minutes of cooking, plus several hours of passive steeping time. From here.

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups fir or spruce tips, chopped
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

1. To gather spruce or fir tree tips, look in springtime for the light-colored ends of the trees: These are the new growth shoots from the tree. Older shoots get too resinous to be very tasty. Work your way around the tree and pick from scattered places so you don’t damage the tree—and never pick the top of a young tree, or you can possibly stunt its future growth. Or do a foraged trade as I did.

2. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a lidded pot, stirring to make sure all the sugar is absorbed.

3. When it hits a boil, turn off the heat. Stir in the spruce tips, cover the pot and leave to cool. The longer you steep the syrup, the stronger spruce flavor you’ll get. I let it steep overnight.

4. Strain the syrup through cheesecloth, add lemon juice (if using) to taste and bottle. This syrup should be kept in the fridge, where it should last about 4 months.

And then, it's cocktail time!

Nénuphar  
Fr. translation: white water lily. Makes one decadent cocktail. From here.

2. oz. Dutch style gin, such as Hayman’s or Ransom
.75 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. St. Germain
.75 oz spruce simple syrup
Several dashes Bitterman’s Boston Bitters
Several more dashes Scrappy’s lavender bitters
Rosemary branch for garnish

1. Combine gin, lemon juice, St. Germain and syrup in a boston shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously until ice is crushed. Strain into a chilled rocks glass, ice optional. Finish with bitters and rosemary. Nerd Tip: if you bruise the rosemary between your hands by “clapping”, it will make the drink even more aromatic.

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