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July 25, 2014

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Now Drink This: Forest Berry Cooler

B Bar, Wynn, $14

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Courtesy of Wynn/Encore

We’ll take winter if it means we get to enjoy a few more of these.

Wynn/Encore property mixologist Patricia Richards created this “not-too-sweet, refreshing berry cooler-style cocktail” for the twelfth annual Finlandia Vodka Cup finals in Levi, Finland where she finished fourth, the highest finish ever for a U.S. contestant in the competition’s history.

Richards braved subzero temperatures to compete against 30 other mixologists. But the cold is not just trying on the competitors. There, at Levi’s Snow Village, competitors watched as everyday ingredients like syrups and juices seized in the frigid temperatures while the competitors made the compulsory aperitif and long drinks and then a “Quick Mix” cocktail from ingredients in a mystery basket.

“After the first cocktail, my fingers were numb,” said Richards. “My strawberry garnishes on my first drink were literally frozen to the ice bar and I had to scrape them off.”

Richards’ forest-inspired long drink entry incorporates winter themes and lingonberries, an ingredient typical, Richards said, of northern countries such as Finland. “The Finlandia Vodka Cup was a phenomenal experience, unlike anything I have ever done in my entire life. The competition was like a mini-United Nations as you have bartenders from all over the world with one thing in common: the love of mixology.”

Ingredients:

2 oz. Finlandia Wild Berries Fusion Vodka

.25 oz. Clear Creek Douglas Fir Eau de Vie

2 oz. Ocean Spray white cranberry juice

.5 oz. lemon juice (freshly-squeezed, strained of pulp and seeds)

.75 oz. Darbo lingonberry syrup

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice, shake well and strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig peeled of needles except for one end. Spear peeled rosemary with several defrosted cranberries.

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