A Blueberry Lemon Drop vodka cocktail.  Fresh highbush blueberries (photos courtesy U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council).  Lemon Drop candies (photo LettuceTemptYou | Tumblr).
The Lemon Drop cocktail is a relatively new one, invented in the 1970s at Henry Africa’s bar in San Francisco.
It is named after old-fashioned lemon drop candy: lemon-shaped hard candies sanded (coated) with very fine sugar. No doubt, it’s why the cocktail version is often made with a sugar rim.
Variations such as the Blueberry Lemon Drop and the Raspberry Lemon Drop followed.
For more complex flavor, replace the agave with ginger or lavender simple syrup.
The drink is served straight up in a Martini glass or other stemmed glass.
This recipe was contributed by Erin Rebecca of PlatingsAndPairings.com.
Variations can be made with any muddled blueberries or puréed fruit. Blueberry and raspberry are two popular versions.
*A better choice than sugar is agave nectar, a low-glycemic natural sweetener from the agave plant. Agave nectar has a glycemic index (GI) of 32; half that of table sugar (GI 60-65). Honey has a GI of 58, pure maple syrup has a GI of 54.
†If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can pulse regular table sugar in the food processor.
1. MAKE the optional sugar rim by moistening the rim of a Martini glass and twisting it in a shallow dish of superfine* sugar.
2. MUDDLE the blueberries and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka and agave and fill the cocktail shaker with ice.
3. SHAKE well and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and blueberries.
Find more blueberry recipes at BlueberryCouncil.org.
THE HISTORY OF THE LEMON DROP
The lemon drop was the first candy sold commercially in the U.S., in 1806. The hard candy was made in lemon and peppermint flavors by a confectioner in Salem, Massachusetts, and called the Salem Gibralter [sic].
According to Wikipedia, modern lemon drops, like most hard candies we know today, evolved from ancient medicinal lozenges. Eighteenth century advances in sugar technology made hard sugar concoctions possible.
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