Awhile back Roger Lenhardt from Norm’s Farms contacted me, wondering if I’d like to sample some of their elderberry products. I’m always on the lookout for hand crafted, artisinal additions to apéritifs, so my answer was a no-brainer. I love the Norm’s Farms story, and most of all I love a family honoring their past while sustainably growing and expanding their core business.
Originating with Norman Lenhardt in Hartsburg, MO, the Lenhardt family preserved and expanded upon Norm’s vision to protect and preserve America’s family farm legacy. Today Norm’s Farms operates out of Pittsboro, NC by working with small local family farms to establish elderberry orchards. Together with the elderberries still grown in Hartsburg, Norm’s Farms’ vision is to be a one-stop-shop for all things elderberry for their customers, from seedlings out of their nursery to commercial plants for farm start up, not to mention the RIDICULOUSLY delicious elderberry products they produce, including jams, preserves, supplements, and syrups.
Norm’s Farms’ products delivered. Too well, almost. Their Elderberry Extract and Wellness Syrup are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants – more than blueberries, gogi, cherry, acai, pomegranate, or cranberry – and may be consumed daily for general immune strength. For me, it was love at first sip. The Elderberry Extract remotely reminds me of pure, undiluted cranberry juice, which I love. The Elderberry Wellness Syrup is the extract paired with honey, cinnamon and clove, and it tastes like a sunny autumn afternoon. That stuff is going to go into some bourbon this fall – you can bet your bottom on that.
For days I took a little nip of each of the products, and endless possibilities swirled around in my noggin. I had to cut myself off though – I almost drained all the extract and wellness syrup before I even got to concocting! Unable to settle on just one cocktail, I’m sharing two with you today.
Wanting to preserve the unadulterated flavor and to honor National Martini Month (yes, it’s a thing), I decided to mix up a martini using the Elderberry Extract, a smidge of the Elderflower Ginger Syrup to bring a slight amount of sweetness and depth to the party, and my favorite top shelf martini base – Purity Vodka.
This Elderberry Martini is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S in color and the flavor delivers on that beautiful garnet hue. It’s mildly tart with a hint of sweetness and just a touch of spiciness thanks to the ginger. The combination of the extract with the syrup is a win-win in this cocktail.
As always, if you’re not a fan of the full strength martini, then add ice and club soda to make more of a spritzer. If you’re more into the sweet, up the syrup to a full ounce. Both Mr. Musky and I loved this one, and enjoyed sipping it on the deck before grilling some haddock and vegetables.
I couldn’t stop with just one cocktail using these products. While sampling the Elderflower Ginger Syrup to decide upon a pairing. I immediately sensed lemon, which made perfect sense since lemon juice is included in the syrup. But I also couldn’t shake brown liquor – either bourbon or brandy. Since I’m in the land of the north, and the Brandy Old Fashioned reigns supreme as the unofficial state drink of Wisconsin, I decided to whip up a Norm’s Old Fashioned. Classic Angostura bitters, lemon juice, Elderflower Ginger Syrup, and Copper and King’s Brandy with a club soda topping make the perfect combination for an updated classic. Resist the urge to top these sweet or press style! Soda only is the only way to go when using top notch, pure ingredients.
Norm’s Farms is generously extending a discount to all of you lovely readers. From now until July 24th, use the coupon code Aperitif Friday for 25% off on all of their products. Head over to their website to read more about their story and check out their products. I just ordered another supplement two-pack – I love them that much.
Cheers, and Happy Friday!
- For the Elderberry Martini:
- ½ oz Norm's Farm Elderberry Extract
- ½ oz Norm's Farm Elderflower Ginger Syrup
- 3 oz Purity Vodka
- For the Norm's Old Fashioned:
- 3 shakes Angostura bitters
- ½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ oz Norm's Farm Elderflower Ginger Syrup
- 2 oz Copper and King's Brandy
- 2 oz Club Soda
- For the Martini, combine the ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds and pour into a chilled martini glass.
- For the Old Fashioned: Combined the ingredients in an old fashioned glass filled with ice and stir with a spoon to combine. Garnish with a lemon wedge.