My youngest daughter was at the farm today and before she left we had a cocktail. I have been waiting to have this cocktail since the middle of the winter when I first saw a recipe that called for syrup made from evergreen tips. I don't recall what the recipe was originally that called for it but I am sure that it is on my pinterest pages somewhere. I do remember searching for the syrup and finding that it was pretty expensive and probably not something that could be sourced locally. Interested, I continued to search and I found a website with a recipe for making your own syrup. The kicker was that the evergreen tips required were only available in the spring. The farm has quite a few different evergreen trees and I have been watching them for when the trees show the lighter green new growth and yesterday the first of our trees were ready for a little careful harvesting of some of the tips. Our tips were of two kinds, a looser tip...
and a tighter tip.
I am not sure if the trees just developed at a different rate or if they are two different varieties of short needled tree but I collected some of each. I made separate batches in case one had a better flavor so that I could replicate it later. Other of our trees are just starting to get new growth so I will try them as well. The syrup will keep for four months in the refrigerator but I am probably going to try canning it in small jars so that it can easily be shared with family members.
The new growth is harvested. Although our trees are established--probably at least 30 years old--I spread out where I was taking the tips from, selecting a few from each branch that I could reach. After rinsing the tips in water and chopping them slightly they were added to boiling simple syrup which is equal parts water and sugar. Once the evergreen is added the heat is turned off and the cover placed on the pot and allowed to steep overnight.
The next morning I strained the syrup and the resulting syrup is clear with a very mild flavor. In the original recipe it mentioned that the favor intensifies the longer the evergreen steeps so I am considering steeping the next batch a bit longer.
For our cocktail we placed in a shaker ice and two tablespoons of the syrup with two shots of gin. We split the cocktail between two Vintage Wexford pressed glass goblets and added a wedge of Meyer lemon and a tiny sprig of evergreen needles for garnish. It was tasty. We did discuss that it would also be good with a bit of tonic or other mixer.
Sharing with BNOTP here.