Cocktail: The Root Race | Bartender: Eleni Bock

My cocktail begins with my very first foraged ingredient, the blueberry! As a child we used to vacation in Sudbury in the summer, and I have fond memories of picking wild blueberries. I also wanted to use an ingredient that showcases the passage of time, so my fortified shrub is made from a blend of smoked foraged spruce tip infused white wine vinegar and vermouth; both old grapes, if you will, and they tie in the garnish, which is a woody pilot grape tendril from the previous year. There is also a modifier smoked spruce tip tincture to round out the bite of the vinegar, and increase the smoke. The smoke is to remind us of forest fires and how much they influence our lives. And finally a syrup from Scots Pine, a highly invasive species to Ontario, yet presents me with a deep dark cotton candy profile. A perfect accompaniment to the soft honey and citrus peel notes from the Deanston.

Cocktail: The Root Race | Bartender Atlas

1.75 oz Deanston Virgin Oak
10 Preserved blueberries (muddled)*
0.25 oz Smoked Spruce Tip Tincture**
0.75 oz Fortified Smoked Spruce Tip Vinegar***
1 oz Scots Pine Syrup****

Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice. Nice LONG shake and fine strain into a rocks glass with the ice at the bottom third of the glass pre-froze, or a king cube. Garnish with a pilot grape tendril, some blueberries, a candied Scots Pine cone and an atomized spritz of the smoked spruce tip tincture for an aromatic component.

*Preserved Blueberries: Blueberries and lots of sugar and Deanston Scotch!

**Smoked Spruce Tip Tincture: 30 highly smoked spruce tips, infused over 2 months in tequila.

***Fortified Smoked Spruce Tip Vinegar:
500ml oxidized DRY vermouth
100ml white wine vinegar
50 highly smoked spruce tips
250 ml sugar
Let them infuse over the course of a month in the fridge. This can be achieved with a sous vide for time and efficiency.

****Scots Pine Syrup:
30 scots pines cones
500ml sugar
700 ml water
Bring all of these items to a boil without a lid over medium heat for 15 minutes, let cool.

Eleni Bock
Eleni Bock on Instagram