Last weekend my charming better half and I attended the wedding of a friend. I have long-held the opinion that weddings should not be approached with any sense of sobriety, but forgot to have a bracing cocktail (or two) before leaving for the ceremony, and neglected to take a flask with me.
Sadly, even though this event was being held in a licensed establishment, the bar did not open until after the ceremony (probably wise knowing a number of the grooms friends…). When the bar did open there was a rush, and we made up for the lost time.
Needless to say the following morning I was in need of a restorative cocktail, and while at brunch at The Gilead Café, I was struck with a brain wave. Spruce Beer and Gin would make a very fresh and invigorating cocktail. Both are perfumed, and both perfumes would compliment each other, so I ordered a couple of bottles of hand crafted Spruce Beer from Quebec to take home with us. Our waiter, (and as a former waiter I absolutely refuse to refer to someone who waits on tables as a server – because in North America this is not a profession, but rather something people do while they wait for a better job to come along) had overheard us discussing the mixing of the Gin and Spruce Beer and asked how we planned to “garnish” the drink. After a moments thought my better half replied “a sprig of fresh Sage” and I said, “Basil”. Dill and other fresh aromatic herbs were also discussed, but it was felt that Sage and Basil were the most promising. As we left each of the waiters on duty stopped by to thank us for the idea, and tell us they were planning to try it once their shift ended.
On our arrival home, I pulled two old-fashioned glasses from the shelf and filled them with ice, poured a good measure of Plymouth Gin in, and topped them off with Spruce Beer and garnished the better half’s with fresh Sage from the garden, and mine with a sprig of fresh Basil, also from our garden. It was a drink that smelled of the forest, fresh and cool. Very aromatic and quite refreshing. I certainly hope the waiters from the Gilead enjoyed it as much as we did.
I’m not sure whether to credit the cocktails or the fine food at The Gilead for feeling well restored that afternoon. Perhaps it was a bit of both, but The Spruce Goose is now part of the summer repertoire of cocktails in this household!
As an after thought, I would avoid using a caraway heavy gin like a Tanqueray, and opt for one that leans to a more juniper berry flavour. If one were to use a Bombay Sapphire, I would be inclined to call it a “Blue Goose” instead of a “Spruce Goose”