Tag Archives: New Year’s Eve

gimlet cocktail with spruce tips

Cheers to the Holiday Season With This Apple Spruce Gimlet Cocktail

This holiday season, try a fresh take on the classic gimlet with this That’s the Spirit apple spruce gimlet cocktail — the ingredients are uniquely oh-so Canadian! The combination of apple and spruce tips lends itself to this beautiful cocktail that tastes like fresh winter’s breath. Have it with a spirit of choice or a non-alcoholic alternative (like juice or soda) to bring out all the different flavours. Plus: it’s easy to whip up!

gimlet cocktail with spruce tips

Apple Spruce Gimlet Cocktail Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

½ cup fresh-pressed apple juice
½ cup sugar
2 Tbsp dried spruce tips + more for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
2 oz spirit of choice (or non-alcoholic substitute)
Ice for shaking

gimlet cocktail with spruce tips ingredients

Directions:

1. Create your apple spruce syrup: in a saucepan, add apple juice, sugar and dried spruce tips. Bring all contents to boil.

2. Once bubbling, lower to simmer. Allow to simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. Remove apple spruce syrup from heat and let cool.

cocktail simmering on stovetop

3. Strain out solids through a colander or strainer into a non-reactive container. Syrup recipe can remain in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

4. In a shaker tin, add 1oz of the apple spruce syrup.

Related: Ina Garten’s Fresh Whiskey Sours Will Be Your Go-To Cocktail

5. Slice a lime in half and squeeze the juices of both halves into the shaker tin, combining with apple spruce syrup.

6. Pick your of spirit (white spirits for more herbal, evergreen qualities; brown spirits to bring out warming spices in the drink). Add 2 oz of chosen spirit in the cocktail shaker.

gimlet cocktail with spruce tips pour

7. Add enough ice to cover the liquid plus a little bit more, do not be shy. Cover the other side of the shaker tin and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds until well chilled.

8. Strain into a coupe glass (or your favourite cocktail glass) and garnish with winter herbs (spruce from your garden works!). Enjoy immediately.

gimlet cocktail with spruce tips

Feeling inspired? Check out these swanky cocktail recipes for New Year’s Eve.

Dan’s Good Side: Lobster and Green Pepper-Stuffed Mushroom Caps

I was chatting with my friend Mel the other week about the fact that green peppers always seem to suck. They aren’t great raw, they aren’t great cooked. Is there a good way to cook them? Is there? I may just be a jaded, old green pepper hater, but I’m willing to keep trying avenues where they can be more enjoyable.

Anyway…recently I spent a good chunk of time out on the east coast, so I decided to bring a few lobsters back home with me to cook up a lobster-centric dinner for some friends. I thought it would be fun to go a little old school with some stuffed mushroom caps and there happened to be a green pepper from my last Spud Calgary delivery pre-travels, staring at me every time I opened the fridge, so it was time to use it.

It’s hard to go wrong with stuffed mushroom caps, especially when cream cheese and lobster are involved, but I must admit, the green pepper was an enjoyable addition to this recipe and everyone seemed to love them, so maybe I just need to cool it on my anti-green pepper campaign…

Lobster and Green Pepper-Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Yields: 24 stuffed mushroom caps
Total Time: 45 minutes

lobster-and-green-pepper-mushroom-caps
Ingredients:

1 green pepper (halved and seeds removed)
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons white wine
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups cream cheese (softened)
2 cups cooked lobster meat (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon liquid honey
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
salt and pepper (to taste)
24 white mushroom caps (stems removed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 °F.
  2. Place green pepper on a small roasting pan, drizzle lightly with oil and let roast until tender, approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a medium pan on medium-high heat and cook onion and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add white wine to pan and let cook until almost completely reduced, then add the butter and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
  5. Transfer contents of pan to a blender, puree until smooth and set aside to cool. While that’s cooling, dice up the roasted green pepper and place into a large mixing bowl along with the next 4 ingredients.
  6. Once onion puree is cool, add it to the bowl and stir until everything is well-incorporated, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Place mushroom caps on a large baking sheet and spoon the cream cheese and lobster mixture into each cap. Bake in oven until mushroom is tender and the filling has started to brown, about 18-20 minutes.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.