Skål! A classic glass of bubbly just went Nordic

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson The classic French 75 gets a Nordic twist with this Lingonberry Mint Cocktail.

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson
The classic French 75 gets a Nordic twist with this Lingonberry Mint Cocktail.

Maria Stordahl Nelson
Seattle, Wash.

One of my favorite cocktails is a French 75. A delicious mixture of lemon juice, gin, simple syrup, and Champagne, it’s a drink with light and bright flavors that tastes wonderful any time of year. After a few years of experimenting and trying various iterations I stumbled upon a recipe for a pumpkin French 75 that included the addition of pumpkin butter. This wonderful recipe then led me to try adding other preserves to my cocktails. Strawberry, raspberry, and even fig preserves found their way into all kinds of concoctions, so it was only natural that I would eventually turn my sights to a recipe including lingonberries.

We buy lingonberry preserves by the case and have since our boys were little. Pancakes and waffles were consumed only with generous dollops of jam on top when they were small and over the years as they’ve grown, so has their love and quantity of consumption. The tart, sweet flavor is the perfect foil for gin and bubbly Champagne. Refreshing mint brings everything together perfectly. This drink would be especially wonderful served for Thanksgiving or around the holidays. It’s festive enough for special occasions but easy enough to make anytime. I strain the berries in this recipe, but feel free to add them to your drink if you desire.

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson Lingonberries lend a rosy hue to this festive drink.

Photo: Maria Stordahl Nelson
Lingonberries lend a rosy hue to this festive drink.

Lingonberry Mint Cocktail
5 tbsps. lingonberry preserves
4 ounces gin
2 1/2 ounces simple syrup (recipe follows)
juice of 1 lemon
1 sprig mint
1 bottle Champagne or Prosecco
additional mint for garnish

Add a handful of ice, preserves, gin, simple syrup, lemon juice, and sprig of mint to a cocktail shaker. Shake until a frost forms on the outside of the container. Strain into four martini or coupe glasses.

Top with champagne by slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon to minimize bubbles. Serve with additional mint as garnish.

Simple Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

Combine ingredients in an empty jam jar and microwave 1-2 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature, screw the lid on tightly, and refrigerate until ready to use.

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 Sept. 18, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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