|Glass and cutting board are both Ikea|
I sometimes make up excuses to go to Ikea just so that I can get one. And by one I mean I fill a cup when I get in the door, refill it after walking through the showroom, it's very dry in there, and then one more fill up for the ride home. (start the car! start the car!)
The fountain version you get at the Ikea stores isn't even juice. It's sugary, red crack-dryck, and I love it! Similar to cranberries, lingonberries don't have much natural sweetness and are usually processed with sugar. I was given some of the syrup as a gift. Then, I also received some wild lingonberry preserve. It's the real deal, sour and tangy, closer to the whole foods I prefer to work with. Both can be purchased at Ikea, although I've used a different brand of preserves today.
|This is from their website.|
There is no way I could resist pulling these together for a new recipe. I'm still in a produce dead zone here so I have to make the most of syrups and preserves until the fresh stuffs begin to arrive. Just the thought of this one is reviving my will to get through the last days of cold.
The natural match for this would be Akvavit but alas here in Ontario, that's not going to happen. So you can steep some vodka with caraway seeds, I found a large sachet of caraway at a Polish deli in my neighborhood for $1.89. It's somewhere in between fennel and cumin. If you've ever been to Buffalo, NY, these are the seeds on top of the bun used for Beef on Weck. If this seems like too much effort for a drink made with Ikea jam, just use Absolute vodka, the most popular brand in Sweden. You'll miss out on the earthy and anise flavours from the caraway but you still get an easy, refreshing berry drink.
|Yep, this plate is also from Ikea. |
No, I'm not working for them.
I just really like lingonberry.
Please don't skip the bitters. If you're new to home bar tending I must encourage you to start purchasing bitters. Having bitters is essential to making great drinks. If you tried to cook without any spices in your cupboard you wouldn't get very far. Consider bitters to be your drink spices. Try one that's easy to find (Angostura) or test a few to find one that you really like.
If you're not yet a believer, here's the moment to try. This drink is an easy one, so try making the drink without the bitters, then add them in, one drop at a time and see how it changes the entire experience. A somewhat ordinary berry drink will take on extra dimensions and be elevated to a new level.
I used a light and citrusy variety because I thought it would be complimentary to the berries. But, go ahead and try one that is dark and spicy, or one that happens to have your favourite flavour in it. (vanilla bitters would work really well in this one too)
1.5 oz Akvavit or Caraway Vodka
1 oz lingonberry syrup
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1 tsp lingonberry preserve
2-3 drops orange bitters
3 oz soda
Add all ingredients excepting soda, to a shaker, fill 3/4 with cracked ice. Shake vigorously for no less than 30 seconds to incorporate preserves. Double strain into a double old fashioned glass (or any glass from Ikea!) filled with cracked ice. Top with soda. Garnish with dollop of preserve and fresh lime zest.
If anyone in Sweden is reading this, I'm sorry. Try to imagine making a Canadian drink for the first time without thinking about whiskey or maple syrup...