As the strawberry harvest unrolls along the east coast we can plot spring’s route starting in Florida in February to Maine several months later. Vermont’s strawberries don’t ripen until mid-June but those little red treasures mean that maybe, just maybe we can take the ice scraper out of the car for a few months.
I wanted to celebrate the strawberry’s return with a cocktail, so I got out the blender and did a little messing about with some gin. It is a bright and fruity concoction but I find the best way to describe it is through sound. The strawberries are lead vocals but the Hibiscus and Grand Marnier play very important supporting roles, adding sax and horn, respectively. The gin is base guitar.
The seltzer adds some percussion, sort of a constant beat of fizz. Lastly, the mint reminds me of the girl in the short skirt and halter top off to the side playing the triangle; put there mostly to make the whole group look more attractive but not entirely superfluous.
Since this is the sixteenth cocktail I have created for our syrups, and in keeping with the musical theme, I’m dubbing it Opus 16.
- 5 Strawberries
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup 
- 1 tsp Grand Marnier
- 1 ½ oz gin (preferably Wild Hart Sugarfoot*)
- Plain seltzer
- Mint garnish
Put strawberries in a blender and puree. Add lemon juice, Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple, and Grand Marnier and pulse again. Pour mixture into a tall glass and stir in gin. Add ice and top with seltzer and a sprig of mint.
*I recommend using Wild Hart Sugarfoot made by our friend, Craig Stevens and crafted by my favorite master distiller, Joe Buswell. Based in Shelburne, Vermont, they are new in the craft distilling scene and doing really well. They use our Makrut Lime-Leaf Infused Maple Syrup to add a fresh note to their gin. It is original and delicious.