Here in Austin, the cold front has finally left us and the sun is shining brighter than ever. It already feels like spring, and I’m anxiously waiting for the first signs of greenery and the smell of freshly cut grass to come back. Every year when January rolls around, I feel trapped… there are so many new ideas about what to plant in our garden, and visions for outdoor dinner parties that I can’t execute on quite yet. So I defer to shaking drinks in our kitchen that look and taste like fruity flowery goodness, a farewell to winter and an ode to spring in liquid form.
You might think that if you incorporate blueberries into your drink, you’ll end up with a blue cocktail but that is far from the truth. The color blue is rarely seen in nature for some reason, and the skin of blueberries is actually a deep purple. Therefore, when blueberries are crushed for a cocktail and strained out, the skin imparts the faintest pink tinge that can brighten up a muddy looking drink, aka anything with orgeat.
In this Southern Pie cocktail, we have a split base between gin and apple brandy which play so nicely together since gin goes with mostly anything and Laird’s Apple Brandy just tastes like apples. The pecan orgeat takes center stage with it’s savory flavor and creamy texture, but the addition of lemon brings everything together and acts as a bond between the booziness and savory/sweet.
If you’re a home bartender like me and make cocktails for only yourself, make a smaller batch of orgeat. I combine a 1/3 cup of nut milk and 1/3 cup of sugar for the orgeat, and keep the remaining nut milk to drink by itself or use in smoothies. You don’t want to be guilt tripped into strictly making drinks with orgeat for the next two weeks, it’ll become a burden on your creativity.
- 10 blueberries
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz Laird’s Apple Brandy
- 3/4 oz lemon juice
- 3/4 oz pecan orgeat
- edible flowers (for garnish)
Muddle the blueberries in a shaking tin. Combine all of the ingredients with ice and shake. Strain into a coupe and garnish with edible flowers.