The smell of a Christmas tree in the house is one of my favorite memories growing up; I couldn't tell you what presents I got when I was 8, but I know what the house smelled like. Recapturing that particular sense memory is now part of my holiday tradition; it's the reason there's a new fir tree in my living room every year. And in the liquor cabinet: Clear Creek Distillery's Douglas Fir Eau de Vie. Somehow this Oregon distillery has bottled the smell of a Christmas tree and made it into drinkable form.
While nice to drink on its own, finding a cocktail to complement the strong, woodsy character of this spirit is tricky. But I hope you'll find the following recipe useful—it's a new twist on the French 75, named for the town where the Douglas Fir Eau de Vie is made.
Fresh lemon, gin, and fruity sparkling rosé make good foils for the eau de vie, complementing the subtle citrus notes found in the fir. A herbaceous gin (such as St. George Botanivore or Heritage Distillery Crisp Gin) works here to create a more complex layering of earthy flavors. If you care to make this at your holiday party this weekend, you can mix up batches of the gin and eau de vie base. Stir 3 servings at a time with ice before pouring the properly diluted mix into individual flutes, then top 'em them off with the chilled sparkling wine.
About the Author: Elana Lepkowski is a Los Angeles based home-schooled mixologist who photographs and shares her cocktail recipes at StirAndStrain.com. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @elanabean where she sometimes forgets she needs a filter.