Let’s Get Blitzen: Cocktail Advent Calendar – Day 19 – Alpine Martini. Realistically, you probably don’t have pine liqueur in your home bar. Sometimes I need to do one for the other mixologists out there, the ones who are always pushing the envelope and trying new things, the ones who have 20 different kinds of liqueur in their home bar, and actually use them.
So, if you do have pine liqueur on your bar cart, this one’s for you. If you don’t, please read on and admire this impressive feat of Tetris I created to showcase this cocktail.
The concept for this shoot came to me like a stroke of genius and I am feeling prettttttty pleased with myself. Mainly that I was able to find this many boxes in my house to wrap. Can you guess which of these boxes contains the game Jenga? What about the one that has the off-camera flash? Or the empty Sephora box?
Basically, I’m ready to receive an honorary doctorate in architecture and/or structural engineering for this feat.
I got this pine liqueur, Zirbenz, from a boutique liquor shop in San Francisco. There is something so exciting about traveling to places that don’t have government-owned liquor stores, where each shop has something different in store, where you can procure all manner of fringe liqueurs and amaro.
Exotic bottles are one of my favourite souvenirs to bring back from my travels, too bad our limit for what we can bring across the border is so low.
I’ll definitely be picking up something interesting while I’m in Florida over the holidays. If you have any recommendations or requests for novel ingredients you’d like me to bring back, hit me up in the comments below and I’ll do my best.
Once you do manage to get your hands on a bottle of pine liqueur, I strongly encourage you to try this cocktail. It is a classic martini formation and requires an extremely cold glass and a slow sip.
- 2 oz gin, preferably Isle of Harris
- ½ oz Zirbenz pine liqueur
- ½ oz dry vermouth, preferably Dolin
- ¼ oz simple syrup
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 strip lemon peel, for garnish
In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce Zirbenz, and 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, plus a 1/4 ounce simple syrup and 1 dash orange bitters. Stir until very well-chilled, then strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel, twisting over the surface of the drink to spray its citrus oils into the glass.
Recipe adapted from: Jones, Carey and John D. McCarthy. "Get Your Christmas Cocktails On With Zirbenz Pine Liqueur." Food & Wine. January 2017.