Fiddlehead martini

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Spring is so close, we can almost taste it, and it probably tastes something like this fiddlehead cocktail. Fiddleheads are iconic in New Brunswick and are a fitting ingredient for this Canadian cocktail. 

Excerpted from A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails by Victoria Walsh and Scott McCallum. Copyright © 2015 Scott McCallum and Victoria Walsh. Photography Copyright © Juan Luna. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


2 oz. gin or vodka, preferably Distillerie Fils du Roy Gin Thuya or Grande Bagosse
1/4 to 1/2 oz. dry vermouth
1 large handful ice cubes
1 lemony pickled fiddlehead, optional
1 strip lemon peel, optional

Pour gin and vermouth into a mixing glass. If using Gin Thuya, we suggest 1⁄4 oz vermouth, as this gin carries extra floral and fruit  notes.

Add ice and stir until chilled, approximately 50 swirls or 45 seconds.

Strain through a julep strainer into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a pickled fiddlehead.

If you aren’t garnishing with the pickled fiddlehead or you like extra lemony flavour, pull a long strip of lemon peel over the glass, releasing oils into cocktail.

Gently pinch, peel side out, misting oils over surface  of the drink. Rub peel around outside rim of the glass, then add.

Lemony pickled fiddleheads

2 cups fiddleheads
3 long strips lemon peel
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup water
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Trim ends and remove brown papery bits from fresh fiddleheads. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Soak to release dirt and debris. Scoop out and remove any papery bits. Carefully remove fiddleheads, leaving settled dirt on the bottom. Repeat process, rinsing and refilling with fresh cold water until clean. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

Bring large pan partially filled with water to a boil. Add fiddleheads. Cook just until fork tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water. Let cool completely, then drain well.

Add lemon peel to a jar. Pack in prepared fiddleheads. Place remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until steaming and salt and sugar are dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour mixture over fiddleheads, leaving 1/2 inch headspace in jar. Seal jar tightly. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to infuse.

Will keep, sealed and refrigerated, for at least 1 to 2 weeks.

Makes 2 cups.