Blue Side Up · Little Donkey

By Eric Twardzik · 09/13/2019

Blue Side Up is a cocktail that celebrates New England blueberries and the people who supply them.

For the last three years, Little Donkey has been making an annual drink using blueberries from New Hampshire’s Patten Hill Farm, which is operated by family friends of general manager Katy Chirichiello.

After the farm’s operator, Harold “Pat” Webber, passed away at 92 last March, Chirichiello decided to name this year’s cocktail in his memory. She honored Webber’s 39-year career as a commercial pilot by choosing “blue side up,” an aviation term that refers to flying a plane right side-up.

Silver tequila gives the cocktail a floral, mineraly base that’s deepened by fruity Pimm’s and bitter Cynar. A blueberry-tarragon syrup is also added, along with a teaspoon of salt.

“The salt makes the anise-y qualities of the tarragon and the freshness of the blueberries pop,” says bar manager Robert Phillips.

The cocktail is packed with fresh blueberry flavor, but leans more bitter than sweet.

“When people read blueberries on the menu they start to think that it’s going to be very fruity and overly sweet. This is nice and bitter, but still has that blueberry and anise flavor from the syrup,” Phillips says.

Blue Side Up                                                                                                  
1½ ounces silver tequila
1 ounce blueberry-tarragon syrup*
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce Pimm’s No. 1
1/8 ounce Cynar
Blueberries, for garnish (optional)

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Add blueberries, if desired.

*Blueberry-Tarragon Syrup (yields about 1 quart)
4 cups blueberries

¼ cup tarragon
2 cups demerara syrup (1:1 ratio of demerara sugar to hot water, stirred)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine blueberries, tarragon, and demerara syrup in a blender and blend until liquefied. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a container and add salt. Keeps about 2 weeks, sealed and refrigerated.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Sign up for our weekly newsletters for curated guides, can't-miss dishes, restaurant recommendations, and more.

Enter Email