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Monkey Weddings & Summer Sapphires

South Africa to Nova Scotia: Stories, Recipes & Memories

Spruce Shoot Cocktail

The tips of the spruce trees look as though they've been dipped in bright green paint.

The shoots are tart and citrusy and when steeped in a simple syrup, they give cocktails an earthy aromatic punch.

The past few days have been scorching. A powerful combo of rain & sunshine has turned my surrounding woods into a tropical rain forest. My dogs seek relief sprawled out on the cool slate floors. My cat Harry, has returned to treating us like a B&B and prefers to survey his kingdom atop a granite boulder.🌲🌲🌲

I've been nursing a painful bee sting below my eye which has left me looking like a prizefighter 🥊 and rendered me quite useless for almost anything practical and/or work related. Cocktails beneath an iridescent canopy of green helps.🍸

The air smells of wood smoke & lilacs. The soundtrack oddly enough is The Cure, Love Cats.🎵

The cocktail goes a lil something like this...


2 ounces Ironworks Gin (made with local Nova Scotia juniper berries, in the tiny fishing village of Lunenburg,NS).

.5 ounce spruce shoot syrup

.5 ounce fresh lime juice

.5 ounce egg white

Shake vigorously, without ice. Add ice after until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a spruce shoot.

Spruce Shoot Syrup

2 cups water

1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups fresh or frozen spruce shoots

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. In a saucepan, over a medium heat, combine water, sugar, spruce shoots and

lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and allow to steep and cool for at least an hour. Strain

through cheesecloth and pour into a sterilized glass jar.

3. The syrup will keep in the fridge for 2-3 months.

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