I love the idea of infusing a drink with fir trees -- it seems like the ultimate holiday cocktail. And gin, with its botanical backbone, is the perfect spirit to infuse with fragrant fir essence. Seattle-based mixologist Kathy Casey uses bark and needles from her own Douglas fir tree in making bitters and other cocktail ingredients. This is adapted from her recipe. Serve alongside a cheese plate for holiday cheer.
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces Douglas fir-infused gin (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce white cranberry juice
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Splash of brut champagne or dry sparkling wine
Tiny sprig of Douglas fir, for garnish
1 fresh or frozen cranberry
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the infused gin, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. Cap and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass and top with a splash of champagne. Garnish with a fir sprig and float a cranberry in the drink for a mistletoe-like effect.
Douglas Fir-Infused Gin
Makes enough for about 16 drinks
1 (5- to 6-inch) sprig fresh-picked Douglas fir branch, rinsed
1 (750 ml) bottle gin
Put the fir branch into the gin bottle, cap and let sit 24 hours. (Do not let it infuse for more than 24 hours.) Remove the branch and discard. The infused gin can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 year.