A Wandering Journey

This week’s cocktail is brought to you by Nancy Val, a freelance food writer and recipe developer from Long Island. She shared this story and recipe with me over email and I was very excited to share it with you!

It Started with a Husk of Vanilla

The cocktail was inspired by an old husk of vanilla and a bit of brandy. Tempted with an infusion, Nancy threw in a bit of cardamom and waited a week. The result was a deliciously infused brandy that begged to be made into a cocktail.

Next up, she happened upon a Christmas gift she’d received – Crown Maple Syrup infused with cinnamon. Add a local whiskey to the mix and a cocktail was very quickly starting to take shape!

No Citrus in Sight

So far the cocktail was boozy and sweet but lacked balance. Usually you’d toss in some lemon juice and call it a day, but Nancy was determined to keep it local and citrus just doesn’t grow in New York. She ended up adding frozen cranberries(which are broken down a bit by the freezing process, making them a bit easier to muddle.)

The cranberries added the acid she was looking for, but the drink was still very boozy (after all, there isn’t a lot of liquid in the cranberries to dilute!) So she finished off the drink with one more very local ingredient – unsweetened, local apple juice. It added another layer of fruity flavor while avoiding over sweetening the drink. Not to mention being a prefect flavor match for the spices and cranberries!

Finishing it off:

No cocktail would be complete without its garnish! Nancy finished this one off with the aroma of the Northeast outdoors – with a sprig of rosemary. As she described it, “piney, woody, gingery… ginger!” Inspiration hits again, and she tossed a bit of candied ginger on the end of the Rosemary sprig to add a bit more flavor, aroma and fun.

I’m not sure I can do any better than Nancy’s own description:

“Behold. An original craft cocktail. Tasty and comforting. Suggesting the warmth of coming indoors to a lit fire after returning from a walk through a wooded path of newly fallen snow.”

Finishing it off:

No cocktail would be complete without its garnish! Nancy finished this one off with the aroma of the Northeast outdoors – with a sprig of rosemary. As she described it, “piney, woody, gingery… ginger!” Inspiration hits again, and she tossed a bit of candied ginger on the end of the Rosemary sprig to add a bit more flavor, aroma and fun.

I’m not sure I can do any better than Nancy’s own description:

“Behold. An original craft cocktail. Tasty and comforting. Suggesting the warmth of coming indoors to a lit fire after returning from a walk through a wooded path of newly fallen snow.”

Print Recipe
The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail
The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail
Servings
Ingredients
Cardamom Vanilla Tincture
Servings
Ingredients
Cardamom Vanilla Tincture
The Northern Sapsucker Cocktail
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