The Blueberry Buckle (Capo Restaurant)
Tableside with a Somm: Alden & Harlow
Q&A: Diego Peña of Eastern Standard
Be wary of drinks named after berries and served in long-stemmed glasses: That’s the typical advice we’d give to a bar-goer. But throw caution to the wind at Capo Restaurant in Southie, where a tart, refreshing number called The Blueberry Buckle is just an ask away.
The drink’s backbone comes from genever, the Dutch precursor to gin. Like gin, it’s a clear spirit flavored by juniper berries. Unlike gin, genever also incorporates malt wine, giving it a distinctive malty taste that sets it apart from its drier English cousin.
Capo bartender Naomi Levy is a champion of the spirit’s versatility, and has incorporated it in other drinks at the Italian spot. “There’s so much you can do with it,” she says.
That potent genever is brightened by fresh lemon juice and balanced by a simple blueberry syrup that’s prepared by mixing equal parts simple syrup and blueberry purée. The final touch is a skewer of sugared blueberries, which you can easily make by rolling the berries in white sugar.
The drink is light, acidic, tart, and only faintly sweet. In other words, it’s quite similar to biting into an actual blueberry. Should you crave one after your first few sips, that edible garnish will serve its purpose well.
The Blueberry Buckle
1½ ounces Bols Genever
1 ounce blueberry syrup (equal parts simple syrup and The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Blueberry, or other blueberry purée)
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
Sugared blueberries, to garnish
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with three sugared blueberries on a skewer and serve.