The past few weeks have been next-level stressful, so I think that calls for a cocktail. Really though, stress or no stress, life always seems to call for a cocktail.
This rosemary blueberry vodka spritzer is not only intended to soothe the tensions of opening a new business, but to also celebrate that tomorrow is officially our GRAND OPENING. Of course I’m talking about Soulberri, the new coffee and smoothie shop we’re opening up on our wee little island of Brigantine. We’ve all been working obnoxiously long hours, and I’m beyond proud of my team for their hard work and commitment to making this place into something truly special. This project has been in the works for over a year now, and it’s pretty incredible to see it finally come to life.
After tomorrow’s ribbon cutting ceremony we’ll be popping BIG bottle of champagne. But first, lets talk about this cocktail.
Jersey blueberries are only a short few weeks away from being in season, and I somehow managed to still have a few containers of them leftover from last summer in my freezer. Score! I hate cleaning out the freezer with all my might but every once a while I’ll stumble upon a few gems. Frozen blueberries can be used in so many different ways, like in baked goods, and of course in smoothies. I am allllll smoothied out these days. But cocktails? That’s a different story.
My poor garden has been seriously neglected lately, and every time I even start to think about it I get a little weepy. I know I’ll get some good stuff planted at some point, but right now a day in the garden feels like a distant dream. Luckily I planted a lovely little garden over at Soulberri where we have a never ending supply of natural fertilizer in the form of coffee grounds. And here at home, I’m glad to have some wonderful perennials that come back year after year, one of which is rosemary.
I love the earthiness from rosemary, but I was also thinking that lavender would be lovely, thyme could be nice, and even the mellow, sweet fragrance of chamomile would work well in here. I love having options, and I highly encourage you to experiment with whatever herbs you happen to have on hand. This cocktail can work with either fresh or frozen blueberries. If using frozen, you’ll need to let them slack out a bit before muddling, otherwise they’ll be really tough to break apart. You could also try making it with strawberries or blackberries, or heck, I’m sure just about any fruit would taste real niiice muddled up with some booze.
Vodka is my liquor of choice here, but gin would be acceptable if that’s what you’re into. That said, it will definitely change the flavor, and personally I like to taste the berries, the herbs, and the lemon without too much interference. It’s your call. A little bit of simple syrup is needed to make it just a teeny bit sweet, but not too sweet, because I do not enjoy sweet drinks at all. Lemon helps to keep that in check, and then the whole thing gets hit with a splash of club soda right before serving. Just don’t make the mistake of adding soda to the shaker like, ahem, someone I know once did.
Let’s all raise a glass together in celebration. To (almost) summer! To Soulberri! To blueberries! To vodka! To being awesome!
- 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, defrost first), plus more for garnish
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 ounces vodka
- 4 teaspoons simple syrup*
- 1 lemon, juiced
- club soda
- Muddle blueberries and 2 sprigs rosemary in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
- Add vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice and ice, then shake vigorously for about 1 minute.
- Add ice to two cocktail glasses. Strain mixture over ice, then top with club soda.
- Garnish with remaining rosemary sprigs and a few blueberries.
- Serve immediately.
- To make simple syrup, combine 1 part sugar with 1 part hot water and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let cool, then store in a jar refrigerated for up to 3 months.