Here’s a reason to get a real Christmas tree: You can make a cocktail out of it! The new book How to Eat Your Christmas Tree includes dozens of recipes for cooking with the needles from firs, spruces and pines. Author Julia Georgallis suggests using them for curing fish, infusing ice cream, brewing tea and making a cordial for these Christmas Tree Sours. Just be sure to triple-check your tree type: Certain varieties like cedars and cypresses aren’t edible. — Francesca Cocchi, Food Network Magazine
Make the cordial: Bring 4 cups water, 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar, the zest of 2 lemons, the juice of 5 lemons and 7 ounces spruce or fir needles to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, repeating to remove all the needles; let cool. Make the drinks: Combine 1/3 cup each sparkling water and bourbon, 3 tablespoons of the cordial, the juice of 2 limes and 3 dashes bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into 2 ice-filled glasses and garnish with spruce or fir sprigs. Refrigerate the remaining cordial for up to 2 weeks.
Photograph by Ralph Smith
Recipe courtesy of HOW TO EAT YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE BY JULIA GEORGALLIS, PUBLISHED BY HARDIE GRANT BOOKS.