Go to Cloud 9 with the Cloudberry 75

A family’s obsession with cloudberries led to this cocktail recipe perfect for celebrating

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson
With the celebratory touch of Champagne or Prosecco, this Nordic version of a French 75 is the perfect cocktail to skål with on Syttende Mai!

Maria Stordahl Nelson
Seattle, Wash.

We’ve always had a somewhat obsessive affinity in our house for cloudberry jam. We’ll slather it on just about anything, and no surface is immune from consideration. Some of our favorite combinations include jam with crackers and cheese, turkey sandwiches, and even on occasion as a condiment for hot dogs. Its relative expense and difficulty to procure are really the only things that keep our obsession from becoming an outright addiction.

We are blessed in the Pacific Northwest with an abundance of fresh berries in the summertime, and each year without fail I head to our local berry patch and pick more berries than I will ever have use for. Inevitably those berries end up frozen or in jams or even in pies, nestled between buttery layers of pastry and then placed whole and tightly wrapped in my freezer for some cold winter day when a warm berry pie seems just the thing.

I have heard from a few that cloudberries can be found here, in the high alpine regions of Washington State, and only have to do some research before heading out on a quest to find them. It’s on my list for things to do this year, and if I’m successful you can be assured I will do my best to pick and preserve as many berries as I can.

So while fresh cloudberries remain ever elusive, we will continue to use the jam in a never-ending variety of ways. In an effort to create a cocktail worthy of Syttende Mai celebrations this year and because cloudberries are so quintessentially Norwegian (and because of our aforementioned obsession), I thought it made the most sense to include them as an ingredient in one of our favorite and most celebratory of cocktails, the French 75. This drink usually consists of lemon juice, gin, simple syrup, and Champagne. Our twist on it replaces the gin with aquavit and the simple syrup with cloudberry jam. We make this drink frequently with lingonberry jam as well for an equally delicious result. Skål!

Cloudberry 75
3 oz. Älskar aquavit (from Old Ballard Liquor Co. or your favorite brand of aquavit)
juice of 1 lemon
3 heaping tbsps. cloudberry jam
1 bottle Champagne or Prosecco, chilled

In a cocktail shaker, add the aquavit, lemon juice, and jam. Add 10-12 ice cubes, cover and shake until the shaker ices over. Evenly distribute the mixture through a fine sieve into each glass. Top with desired amount of Champagne and serve.

Serves 4.

Maria Stordahl Nelson is a Seattle-area food writer, photographer, and recipe developer. She shares her love of all things sweet, savory, and sometimes Nordic at www.pinkpatisserie.net.

This article originally appeared in the May 5, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.