Most years, I slide toward my winter self in an increasingly cozy cloak of introspection, meditation, and meanderings.
As the world in me slows and simmers, the house begins to sparkle with Yule and Solstice decorations. Bright seasonal blessings sit on my mantle, emerge from my oven, swell in my heart. Most years, you’ll find me actively delighting in what’s happening around me.
This year is different.
This year our kitchen sits demolished awaiting a restoration from a water heater leak and most of my time is spent at my computer working for a pressing deadline.
This year I have strangers milling about my home while I try to write. This year I am running interference on a zillion different things, many of them quite challenging for my sensitive soul. This year I have hardly traversed my cherished forest paths. This year is not like any other year before it.
This year, I need a drink. (I kid, I kid… Kinda. Not really.)
I’m fine. It’s going to be fine.
But I made this vodka infused with Juniper Ridge’s Douglas Fir Spring Tips tea anyway so I could, you know, have something magical to toast with when the kitchen and chaos are finally done.
We usually anchor our Christmas Eve toast in an alcoholic delight crafted from the aromatic winter forests in our area. Since I haven’t made much of foraging this year, I’m “cheating” with this GORGEOUS tea from Juniper Ridge.
The wonderful people at Juniper Ridge know what good is: thoughtful stewards and reverent wildcrafters, the Juniper Ridge team creates products celebrating the wild places that surround them.
All of their products are exceptional–and their Douglas Fir Spring Tips tea is a long-standing favorite in our household. When we lived in New Mexico, the Doug Fir spring tips tea was like a cup of Pacific Northwest home, a steaming mug of pure aromatic joy. We sipped it regularly when we were missing the Northwest vibe.
This year, we let a few bags of that delicious Douglas Fir Spring Tips tea fall into a jar of vodka to infuse for a week…
Two cups of vodka plus 5-6 bags of the tea steeping together for a week yields an earthy, herbal, citrus, pine-y delight of a vodka.
I’m not sorry.
Herewith a few of the fun and inspired ways you might use it…
A new twist on the classic vodka martini….
Want that martini to go to eleven?
Combine two jiggers fresh juiced pear juice, one jigger Douglas Fir Spring Tip Tea-infused vodka, and one jigger plain vodka. Shake with chipped ice and strain into a martini glass. (No pears? Fresh squeezed clementine juice is off the hook, too!) You’re welcome.
A fresh take on spiked hot cocoa….
Want to take that spiked hot chocolate to a whole new level?
Add a dollop of this boozy whipped cream. It’s also incredible on Christmas fruit pies and cobblers, plunked on top of regular or Irish coffee, or anywhere else you like finding whipped cream.
Feeling uninspired? As in, you need a drink? Douglas fir tea-infused vodka in a classic Screwdriver = the Pseudotsuga Screwdriver.