Get into the island spirit with these three P.E.I.- inspired, summer fresh recipes from Chef Michael Smith.

An enthusiastic islander (by choice), Chef Michael Smith of Food Network's Chef at Home recently visited a Toronto restaurant to share his love and enthusiasm for life in P.E.I., specifically growing and cooking good food. Smith explained how knowing all of the people who grow your food changes your perspective when you prepare and consume it. Though he could not bring us the rich soil that grows all of the beautiful produce P.E.I. has to offer, he did share a few island-inspired summer fresh recipes.

Click through to find Summer Christmas Cocktail, Brown Butter Fiddleheads and Pickled Cattail Hearts & Cherry Tomatoes. If you're thinking of taking a trip to the island this summer, check out tourismpei.com for everything you need to know!

 

SpringChristmasCocktail

Summer Christmas Cocktail spruce tips, cranberry & ginger

Have a sip. Close your eyes. Remember that Christmas when you were a kid? You will. It'll take a bit of effort though. Out on the land and down your liquor store aisles. It'll be worth it though for just one sip of this timeless elixir!

Serves 4 expertly crafted cocktails

4 ounces (500 ml) of freshly picked spruce tips, the lime green tips of spring, preferably from a Prince Edward Island tree

750 ml of Prince Edward Distillery potato vodka or your favourite product

1 can (348 ml) of cranberry jelly

1/2 can of water a one-inch knob of frozen ginger, freshly grated 2 to 4 cans (355 ml) of freshly popped ginger ale 4 - 500 ml mason jars Lots of ice a few handfuls of frozen cranberries

Roam the land keeping an eye on your trees. Come to know them. In the spring watch as delicate lime green sprouts emerge from the branches and sprigs. Hand harvest when they're 1" to 2". Clean the shoots, removing any brown tips. To infuse the booze, make a cocktail or two, share a few shots ensuring you have made enough room in your bottle to cram in your spruce tips. Wait at least a week, the longer the better. Somewhere along the way get the cranberry syrup ready.

Pop the contents of the cranberry can into a sauce pot and splash in half a can full of swish water. Bring the mixture to the simmer whisking smooth. Refrigerate in a mason jar or two until chilled and thickened into cool cranberry syrup!

When you're ready to tipple simply half fill a round of mason jars with ice. Measure a shot of spruce tip infused vodka into each jar. Splash in 2 shots of cranberry syrup, the ginger and top the works with ginger ale. Tighten on a lid and gently invert the jar, carefully mixing the syrup into the cocktail. Stand upright – you and the drink – remove the lid and garnish with artful spruce sprigs and a few frozen cranberries to maintain the chill while you sip, share and enjoy!
© Chef Michael Smith

NEXT: Pickled Cattail Hearts & Cherry Tomatoes

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