As told to 7x7 by Danny Louie of Alembic:
"While working on a mellow night at the bar, I struck up a conversation with my G.M. about drinks in general. He pointed out Anchor Distilling’s HOPHEAD Vodka. Once I smelled it, I was immediately transported in my mind to a bontanical garden.
That thought then carried me to a fond memory of a childhood family vacation. It's always interesting how scents evoke memories. On that trip, we picked fresh strawberries from my uncle's Seattle farm. It was then that I was inspired to play off the hops with strawberries and then using Zirbenz Stone pine liqueur to enhance the piney notes from the vodka and lemon juice to brighten the cocktail.
Upon sipping this drink you get all of the different sensations of walking through a garden, picking strawberries and smelling pine and fresh leaves after a rainy night.
A vodka cocktail with strawberries? Why the hell not?!
1 1/2 oz HOPHEAD Vodka
3/4 oz Zirbenz Stone pine
3/4 oz Fresh strawberry juice w/ xanthan gum*
3/4 oz Lemon juice
1/2 oz Simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin and give it a short shake, five seconds. Strain into an old fashioned glass with three medium sized ice cubes.
*Fresh strawberry juice with xanthan gum for texture and mouthfeel:
Set your digital scale to grams. Juice a pint of a strawberries. Weigh the rendered liquid from the strawberries. Add .01% grams of xanthan gum to your total weight of rendered liquid and mix with an immersion blender fine strain the liquid and bottle.