Once you're put your blueberry pie in the oven, make sure you've got enough blueberries left for a Camden Hike or two, one of the cocktails I selected from The American Cocktail "50 Recipes That Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks From Coast to Coast" (Chronicle Books, Fall 2011) gathered by Karen Foley and the Imbibe Magazine team.
Camden Hike created by Tom Laslavic, Natalie’s Restaurant, Camden Harbour Inn, Maine
"Maine’s sixty thousand acres of wild blueberries are a gift to the nation’s northernmost residents. Blueberries thrive in the region’s acidic soils and weather the harsh winters like champs, enabling the state to offer up the intensely flavorful, versatile, and nutritious berries for thousands of years and counting. The first cultivated blueberries were transplanted from the wild, and now Maine is the largest producer in the world. Bartender Tom Laslavic pays tribute to these gems and the flavors of his home state with this sparkling, berry-laden drink. “These are ingredients one may find during a country walk in midcoast Maine,” he says. He also draws inspiration from local distiller Cold River Vodka, which makes vodka with Maine-grown potatoes.
1 ounce strained blackberry purée
1 ounce strained blueberry purée
1 ounce Maine wildflower honey syrup
2 ounces Cold River vodka
1/4 ounce crème de cassis
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3 to 4 ounces soda water
Tools: cocktail shaker, fine-mesh strainer
Glass: double old fashioned
Garnish: 1 piece of thick lemon peel, 1 fresh blackberry, and 1fresh blueberry
Combine both berry purees and the honey syrup, vodka, crème de cassos, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a double Old Fashioned glass. Top with the soda water and garnish with the lemon peel and berries, skewered on a cocktail pick.
Tom Laslavic, Natalie’s Restaurant, Camden Harbour Inn, Maine
To make the berry purées: Place 1 cup of fresh or frozen blackberries in a blender or food processor and process until they are puréed. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside. Repeat with the blueberries.
To make the honey syrup: In a heat-proof container, mix equal parts wildflower honey and warm water. Stir until blended."
(* Recipe from The American Cocktail "50 Recipes That Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks From Coast to Coast" -Chronicle Books, Fall 2011- Photo by Sheri Giblin- all rights reserved)