Blue Sap Smash

Happy Friday! We’re so excited to introduce the latest addition to our Holiday Cocktail Series: The Blue Sap Smash 🫐

This is the third cocktail in a series featuring our trio of handmade fruit sauces. At White Meadows Farms, we are always finding ways to feature our products beyond their obvious use. Our team has done an incredible job to showcase the versatility of our fruit sauces through the art of mixology. Week One featured our Maple Peach Fruit Sauce in the Smokey Niagara Peach Mule – a stirred Mule variation with a hint of smoke. Week Two featured our Maple Cranberry Fruit Sauce in the Merry White Meadows Punch – a cold wine infusion with notes of maple and elderflower. This week we’re showcasing our Maple Blueberry Sauce in the Blue Sap Smash – a smash-up of fresh rosemary, blueberry sauce and gin. 

Blue Sap Smash

It begins with a feeling

Imagine you’re bundled up in your boots, mittens and winter coat and you’re strolling through the forest with your favourite person on a crisp, winter day. You look around and see snow covered evergreens, powdered snow sparkling in the sunlight and layers of ice on barren tree branches. Take a deep breath and inhale the pine scented air. In our farm forest, you’ll see networks of blue sap lines connecting one maple tree to the next. When all is quiet in the heart of the winter sugar bush, the feeling is indescribable. If you’ve never had the chance to experience it, you can capture the whole feeling in our 2023 Sugar Bush Trek, coming in March!

It’s often during the coldest days of winter that we long for warmer weather and await telltale signs of spring. At the maple farm, the spring melt signifies the emergence of a new maple season when warm days encourage the sap to flow.

The Blue Sap Smash embodies that harsh, heart-of-winter feeling while we count the days to the start of next maple season.

sap lines

When conceptualizing the maple blueberry sauce creation, Aarika initially envisioned a shaken cocktail. After much experimentation, she discovered that the best way to incorporate the blueberry flavour was to muddle the blueberries to break them down further. Then, we use a julep strainer with larger holes to allow for the bursting blueberry bits to make it into the drink. The final recipe evolved into a smash style cocktail that incorporates the perfect balance of mouthfeel and flavour from each ingredient. 

Smash cocktails are generally made with five basic elements: a spirit base, a sweetener, herbs, seasonal fruit, ice (and sometimes water). The Blue Sap Smash includes: Dillon’s Dry Gin 7, Maple Blueberry Fruit Sauce, fresh rosemary, grapefruit juice, The Original Sapsucker and ice. 

Blue Sap Smash

If you read the Smokey Niagara Peach Mule post, you already know how much we swoon over Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers. Dillon’s Dry Gin 7 is 100% Canadian Rye Gin that’s been vapour distilled with 7 botanicals: juniper, coriander, orange peel, licorice root and lavender. The scent and flavour profile of this gin is a big part of the sensory experience that the Blue Sap Smash requires to evoke that harsh, heart-of-winter feeling. 

WMF Kitchen Tip: Did you know that we use Dillon’s Dry Gin 7 in our Beef & Chocolate Stew as served in our Sugar Bush Campout Lunch? This not-so-secret ingredient is used as a clever replacement for juniper berries as they’re not so easy to come by locally this time of year…

Rosemary is an essential element of the Blue Sap Smash. It is crucial to muddle the rosemary separately from the blueberries. While the blueberries need to stay in the drink, the rosemary leaves must be strained out. The best way to extract the essential oils from the rosemary is to muddle it with the grapefruit juice first and then strain. The final rinse with gin in the muddling glass ensures that none of the flavour from the rosemary is left behind. For the garnish, Aarika has created the most beautiful ode to a juniper bush with a sprig of rosemary and a couple of blueberries rolled in sugar. Simple and classy 🌿

Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice was chosen over classic lemon juice since grapefruits are at their peak from winter to early spring. The tartness of the grapefruit balances the sweetness of the blueberries without being overpowering. 

Perhaps the most exciting ingredient in this drink is The Original Sapsucker – sparkling organic tree water. This is such a unique product that makes for an excellent alternative to traditional tonic water or soda, especially in cocktails. Think “Bubly” with a hint of natural sweetness. Sapsucker is harvested from Canadian maple trees and is nutrient rich, containing 46 naturally occurring minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. To honour the origins of maple syrup and the network of blue sap lines we use to collect sap, The Original One, served in a blue can is the perfect mixer in the Blue Sap Smash that really allows the blueberry flavour to shine. 

Not to be overlooked – the ice. It may seem like the simplest part of a cocktail but ice actually plays a big role in how your finished drink will taste. For the Blue Sap Smash, the bigger the ice, the better. A large sphere of ice keeps the cocktail chilled with the least amount of dilution and makes for an impressive presentation. 

The Blue Sap Smash is naturally layered – both literally and figuratively. The first few sips are rather spirit forward, representing the harsh cold of winter. As you sip along, the flavour of the blueberries intensifies and finishes sweet, just like the spring melt.

Blue Sap Smash

A seasonal take on a blueberry gin smash, inspired by a cold and crisp winter’s day through the sugar bush. This spirit forward cocktail will unfold with every sip and transform like the harsh cold winter to the anticipated spring melt, where the blue sap lines flow into the sweetest time of year.

Makes 1 Cocktail 

Ingredients:

Garnish:

  • 1 Rosemary sprig with thick stem
  • 3 Fresh blueberries
  • Small bowl of water
  • White sugar, for rolling

Instructions:

Sugared Rosemary and Blueberry Garnish

  1. Strip rosemary leaves off from the bottom of the rosemary sprig to expose about 3cm worth of woody stem and skewer on blueberries.
  2. Dab the prepared sprig in water and shake off any excess.
  3. Roll the moistened sprig in a pile of white sugar to encrust all sides.
  4. Place on a small wired rack or on a piece of parchment to let dry for at least an hour. 

Cocktail Instructions

  1. In a mixing glass, add rosemary and grapefruit juice. Muddle until fragrant. Strain into a cocktail shaker using a fine mesh strainer to remove any pieces of rosemary. 
  2. Add gin to mixing glass, swirl to rinse and pour over strained rosemary into the cocktail shaker to wash any leftover essential oils from the rosemary. Remove strainer. 
  3. Add maple blueberry sauce to shaker and gently muddle. Add a few ice cubes and shake to chill. 
  4. Strain the cocktail using a julep strainer into a double rocks glass over large ice, shaking the tin to ensure all the muddled blueberries make their way into the glass. 
  5. Top with Original Sap Sucker and stir gently. 
  6. Garnish with sugared rosemary and blueberries.

Notes

  • For a mocktail version, omit the gin and top it off with more sap sucker
  • Sugared rosemary and blueberry garnishes can be made a day in advance
  • Swap out the grapefruit juice for freshly squeezed lemon or lime if preferred

✨Stay tuned next Friday for the grand finale of our cocktail series!
We can’t wait to share our sweetest creation of all, just in time for the Holiday weekend 🎄

Blue Sap Smash