Cocktails to take your crayfish party to another level!
For a couple of months in the late summer the Nordics go crazy for crayfish as the season for this delicacy is on. I have been eating crayfish every summer since I remember hence it was a tradition in my family to host a crayfish party with our neighbours.
One of the traditions in these parties is to take the first schnapps of akvavit or Koskenkorva for the first crayfish tail that gets eaten. As there are many more glasses of schnapps following later, I have created my own homemade version that is big on flavour but has a bit less kick. It takes a couple of days to infuse, so prepare it to the fridge early to maximise the flavour!
For the aperitif I wanted to create something light and bubbly. Blackcurrants are getting ripe now in the gardens so it is a good time to use the blackcurrant leafs also. They have a beautiful aroma and colour and are usually used for tea. They give nice flavour to light spirits like rum, gin or vodka if you let them infuse for couple of days. Rubbing the leafs gently before mixing with the alcohol extracts more essential oils and flavour to the spirit. I used light aromatic rum this time, infused it with the blackcurrant leafs and mixed it with grapefruit, honey, blackcurrant vinegar and sparkling wine to create Currently Bee. The combination is light yet complex, perfect for waking up your senses before a great feast.
To make things easier on the day of the party, you can mix all the ingredients of the aperitif except for the sparkling wine in a jug and refrigerate it before hand. When your guests arrive, just pour the mixture to shaker, fill with ice and shake, pour to glasses and top up with sparkling wine. No need for measuring stuff in a hurry!
Using seasonal ingredients is very close to my heart. Our apple trees are bursting with apples right now, and it is the same with lingonberry branches in the forest so it felt just natural to hero these two in the flavour pairing cocktail for the crayfish. This drink called Red Autumn has also a hint of rose petal flavour as a reminder of the summer that is coming to an end.
You can also prebatch the Red Autumn cocktail. Mix all the ingredients in a jug and chill. When you are ready to serve, pour in a shaker and fill with ice and you are ready to shake!
Blackcurrant leaf is one of my favourite ingredients at the moment. For this drink I mixed it with light rum, grapefruit, honey, blackcurrant vinegar and finished it off with sparkling wine. The combination is light yet complex, perfect for waking up your senses before a great feast.
40 ml white rum infused with blackcurrant leafs*
20 ml grapefruit juice
20 ml runny honey
2 teaspoons of blackcurrant vinegar
Cava sparkling wine
Mix all the ingredients except the sparkling wine in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until cold. Pour through a tea sieve into sparkling wine glasses and top up with cava. Mix gently and garnish with a blackcurrant leaf.
*White rum infused with backcurrant leafs
1 bottle of good quality white rum
500ml blackcurrant leafs
Wash the blackcurrant leafs. Rub gently with your fingers to extract the essential oils. Mix the leafs with the rum in a clean maison jar and let infuse in cold until the rum has a distinctive aroma of the leaves. This takes one to three days. Filter the rum and store in fridge.
Lemon & dill schnapps
I have made different versions of this schnapps over the years. You can play with different herbs and citrus, but this classy combo of lemon & dill works every time!
10-15 servings of 40ml
250 ml gin
250 ml lemon juice (5-7 lemons)
skins of 5 lemons
bunch of crown dill (5-7 branches)
100-200 ml simple syrup
Peel the skins of 5 lemons. Juice the lemons until you have 250ml of juice. Mix together lemon juice, skins, gin and crown dill in a clean mason jar. Let infuse for 3-5 days in fridge.
Filter out the skins and dill. Add simple syrup to taste: the schaps should be sour but sweet. Pour into a clean bottle and store in fridge.
Serve chilled as a shot.
Crayfish and rose is a perfect combination, but not the most traditional one. For this drink I paired them with the seasonal lingonberries and apples to create an exciting and mouthwatering drink to go with the red crayfish.
20 ml akvavit
20 ml red vermouth
60 ml lingonberry puree*
40 ml good quality apple juice
½ teaspoon of rose water
Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until cold. Pour through a tea sieve into on the rocks glasses. Fill the glasses with ice and garnish with a lingonberry twig.
500ml fresh or frozen lingonberries
200ml white sugar
In a saucepan, mix lingonberries, water and sugar. Heat constantly mixing until sugar has dissolved. Puree with a blender. Store in cool.