Cocktail of the Week: Valkyrie's Garden
Last year I went to my friend's wedding in North Dakota. We had always teased her about her Viking heritage being of Norwegian descent, but it wasn't until I saw her family that I saw what a "Viking heritage" really meant. It meant being welcomed immediately into a close knit family with good food, good conversation, and good times. Giants maybe, but gentle giants.
When I was trying to think of a new winter cocktail, my mind went immediately to the frozen European north and I tried to replicate the warmth and connectedness I felt with my friends family. Scandinavia is a varied landscape of countries, and although these countries have different languages and heritages, a distinct Nordic culture exists in their cuisine. Scandinavian cuisine is often described as simple, balanced, and subtly complex, "farmer's fare" straight from the field or hunt to the table.
I wanted a cocktail that captured the variety of experiences in the region, with a flavor that was well-balanced and straight from the land. Aquavit, a Scandinavian staple, adds complex notes of caraway and dill to the exotic herbaceous flavor of Bombay Sapphire Gin. This herbal complexity is balanced with the tartness of raspberry and lemon, and the sweetness of honey for a well-rounded, unforgettable drink. Scandinavia may be a cold place but the warmth and simplicity of family is prevalent across the frozen peninsula. Hopefully this drink reminds you in some way of close friends and family around the fire.
1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
½ oz. Aalborg Taffel Akvavit
¼ oz. Chambord
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. acacia honey syrup*
Fill Collins glass with crushed ice and set aside.
Muddle together raspberries, lemon juice, and honey syrup in bottom of shaker tin.
Add remaining ingredients and shake over ice.
Double strain into prepared Collins glass.
Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a blackberry speared over a dried blood orange.
*Acacia Honey Syrup: Combine 1/2 cup acacia honey and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Stir together until sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature and bottle in glass jar. Keep in refrigerator for two weeks.
Check out the full recipe page here.