Yahoo! The Calgary Stampede is here for the next 10 days. It’s a time of dressing western to day drink on sunny patios or inside hot tents. You could stick with beer, but if you have access to fresh BC blueberries and Parlour Gin from Eau Claire Distillery, this Blueberry Gincident cocktail is just the thing to cool you down while simultaneously firing you up for the rodeo.
The folks from the BC Blueberry Council were in town earlier this week to promote the province’s berry bounty, which is in stores right now. They dropped off a ton of berries, so I juiced some, added local gin, lemon juice and simple syrup, and topped it off with soda water. The resulting cocktail is berry sweet, tart and refreshing. Drink in moderation to avoid a “gincident.” Giddy up!
Cool down during Stampede week with this refreshing gin and blueberry juice cocktail.
- 1.5 oz Parlour Gin
- 1 oz fresh blueberry juice
- 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.75 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
- Top soda water
- Garnish: Mint sprig
Method: In a shaker combine gin, juices and syrup. Shake, then strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with soda water (about 1-2 oz, no more) and garnish with a mint sprig.
It’s officially BC blueberry season, and I have been stuffing my face with gobs of them this week. Representatives from the British Columbia Blueberry Council visited Calgary on Tuesday, packing with them cases of the little blue fruit. But don’t fret — you don’t have to drive west to get your hands on the plump berries. You can find BC blueberries in supermarkets, farmers’ markets and produce centres all over Calgary.
I’m excited to add my new berry bounty to morning shakes, sprinkle them atop yogurt snacks and toss them into kale salads. With the weekend looming, I’m muddling them into mojitos.
The Blueberry Elderflower Mojito was inspired by a raspberry mojito I tried at Island Lake Lodge earlier this month (I’ll be sharing that recipe in my Spirited Calgary column in the Calgary Herald on Aug. 8). Blueberries add a pretty colour, sweetness and antioxidant hit to this twist on a traditional mojito. Enjoy!
This long, refreshing mojito is sweetened by blueberries, St-Germain and a dollop of simple syrup. Divine!
Blueberry Elderflower Mojito
- 5 large mint leaves
- 2 bar spoons fresh BC blueberries
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio)
- 1 oz light rum (I used Brugal Extra Dry)
- 1/2 oz St-Germain
- Top soda water
- Garnish: 5 fresh BC blueberries and a mint sprig
Method: In the base of a Collins glass, muddle mint and blueberries with lime juice and simple syrup. Add rum and St-Germain. Add ice cubes, stir, then top with soda water (2 to 3 oz, or to taste). Garnish with more blueberries and a mint sprig.
If the name of this week’s drink sounds made up, that’s because it is. I didn’t know what else to call my muddled blueberry-mint-lime juice-whiskey cocktail. I was going for a take on a mint julep, but the end result more closely approximates a mojito. At any rate, it’s a little glass of whiskey-blueberry bliss = Blisskey.
Fresh mint, muddled blueberries and a tot of whiskey will be key to your bliss this weekend.
When creating a cocktail I first see what fresh ingredients I have on hand (blueberries, mint, limes) and then I think about what spirit might taste good with them. I settled on the maple whiskey because it’s slightly sweet and I thought the maple would play well with blueberries and mint. If I’d had lemons on hand I would have opted for them instead, but limes also work (hence the mojito-like taste…even my husband guessed that rum was the base spirit. Maybe I should up the whiskey to 2 oz?). The blueberries don’t add very much in terms of flavour, but they sure make the drink a pretty pink-purple hue.
It’s just the kind of drink you want in-hand when you’ve been trapped indoors all week because of the rain, the children are chasing the dog around the house. Blisskey, take me away!
Whiskey mojito meets mint julep in this pretty cocktail.
- 1-1/2 oz Gibson’s Finest maple whiskey
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz honey simple syrup
- 8-10 fresh blueberries
- 6-8 mint leaves, plus mint sprig garnish
Gently muddle the blueberries, mint and whiskey together in the base of a cocktail shaker. Add the lime juice and simple syrup and some ice. Shake, and then strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig.