I grew up sipping gold from crystal glasses. Martinelli’s apple cider was the champagne of holiday feasts at my paternal grandparents’ house, and even as a child I interpreted that cider as I should have: a symbol of true Norwegian hospitality.
Grandma Agny didn’t drink alcohol, but even as a dry hostess, she knew the importance of offering something special to drink for her guests. (And I LOVE the fact that she served sparkling cider in her best goblets!)
Now that I’m a mother, I occasionally buy a bottle of sparkling cider to pour for my children as a way to signal that they are loved, that they deserve to receive the hospitality that we would extend to guests, and that even a weeknight dinner can be elevated to something special simply because we are together.
And now for the grownups…
Although I usually stick to classic cocktails like a gin martini or a Manhattan, it’s fun to switch things up every once in a while. And that’s where this drink comes in.
This vibrant cocktail gets most of its sweetness from blueberries and raspberries—the flavors of Scandinavian Queen’s Jam. With just a touch of the elegant sweetness of Lillet Blanc—a French aperitif wine—and a dash or two of lavender bitters, the results are as beautiful and festive as can be and would be perfect for just about any spring or summer celebration, from Syttende Mai to the 4th of July.
Queen’s Berries Martini with Vodka and a Touch of Lillet
Meanwhile, in a cocktail shaker, pour vodka over blueberries and raspberries. Muddle a bit then let sit for about five minutes to let the flavors infuse the vodka. Add Lillet Blanc, lavender bitters, and a cup of ice. Taste and adjust Lillet if you’d like it a little sweeter. Shake vigorously and strain into the chilled glasses.