Oh, did you happen to hear that California is in the midst of a wildflower ‘Super Bloom’? Yup. Did you also hear about how places like the Walker Canyon Ecological Reserve have been completely trampled on by all the Instagrammers trying to get dreamy photos of themselves sprawled casually in the middle of the *protected poppies? Yup.
THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.
I’m really cranky about this, you guys. But my crankiness is insulated pretty nicely by the general awe and gratitude I have for the fact that the Super Bloom is evening happening. We’ve had rain. So. Very Much. Rain. California is actually out of its drought for the first time in a very, very long time. And that’s definitely something to celebrate…
…with a cocktail and and elaborately staged homage to the much-abused poppy fields.
And I know I’m a hypocrite because I picked one from my yard to garnish this drink with. YES: they are illegal to pick from state and public lands, but it is not illegal to harvest them from your own property (especially if you casually tossed seeds into your yard and now they are taking over). PLEASE DO NOT PICK POPPIES UNLESS THEY ARE FROM YOUR OWN DAMNED YARD. If you grow them yourself, you can do whatever you want with them. Like garnish cocktails. And place them just out of reach of inquisitive chickens. (It should be noted that poppies are potentially toxic to chickens, so seriously…keep them away from the birds. For the above photo, I let my chicken stroll through the shot but not touch the poppies. She gave them some extended side eye, but exercised restraint like the professional that she is).
Yes, I spent all together too much damned time painting a scenic background of poppy fields (that really, really, really looks like them if you close one eye and look out of the peripheral of your other eye), BUT THIS IS MY LIFE NOW so I’m just going to roll with it. Middle school stage crew skillz DO come in handy from time to time.
SUPER BLOOM SOUR
Makes 1 serving
1.5 oz. gin
1 oz. Grand Poppy
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. Orange Syrup
1 medium egg white
1 homegrown California poppy to garnish
To make the Orange Syrup:
.5 cup water
.5 cup fresh orange juice
.5 cup granulated sugar
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil just until sugar is dissolved, then lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let thoroughly cool, strain into an airtight container, and store in fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or just buy something like this.
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine gin, amaro, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled cup, dump ice from shaker, then place drink mixture and egg white back in chilled shaker and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Pour shaker contents into a coupe glass and garnish.
Enjoy cocktail while scrolling through images of the Super Bloom online.