I went to a farm over the weekend that lets you pick your own fruit. We went hunting for Olallieberries and came back with about 6 baskets worth! We had also paid a trip to the same farm a week before, and from that batch, we made an Olallieberry-Infused Vodka and an Olallieberry Liqueur. The liqueur (made with the addition of sugar) was tasty, but quite sweet. The vodka was wonderfully balanced...pure bliss, and it made a great fresh-lime Gimlet. Here's my recipe:
- 2.5 oz. Olallieberry-Infused Vodka (we let it infuse for 6 days)
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. Velvet Falernum Liqueur for some sweetness and subtle spice (you can use regular sugar syrup or agave nectar instead)
- Shake and stain into chilled cocktail glass, lime wedge and Ollalieberry Garnish
I also made Ollalieberry Mojitos over the weekend (using the vodka instead of Rum). Delicious!!
So what exactly is an Olallieberry you ask? Genetically, it is approximately two-thirds Blackberry and one-third European Red Raspberry. The Olallieberry was developed in 1949 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at Oregon State University by crossing a Loganberry with a Youngberry. While primarily developed in Oregon, it has never been very productive there and is primarily grown in California. Because the olallieberry has blackberry on both sides of its parentage, it exhibits many of the same flavor characteristics of the blackberry. However, olallieberries are much larger in size and are generally a bit sweeter than blackberries grown under the same conditions. "Olallie” is a word for berry that was used by Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest. It's mostly tart, with just enough sweetness to balance it out on the palate.
We have another batch of vodka (a much larger batch) infusing as we speak, and I'm also whipping up some lemongrass simple syrup as I write this. I'll let you know how it goes and what I come up with.