For the holiday season, I wanted to create an herb-infused cocktail that would have a brilliantly red, festive color and a delicious sweet-tart flavor profile. Healthful lycii berries (Lycium barbarum) turned out to be the perfect ingredient for this craft libation. Also known to herbalists as goji, Chinese Wolfberry, or Chinese boxthorn, these bright red, almost chewy berries taste very similar to raisins but with a tart finish. The berries can be eaten raw or steeped as tea, but for the sake of this recipe, they make an ideal infusion in rum, serving as a tasty base for a cocktail!
Goji Berry Infused Rum
Makes approximately 16 drinks
● Approximately 1 cup organic dried lycii berries*
● Approximately 3 cups good dark rum of choice
1. At least five days before serving cocktails, fill a clean quart jar about 1/3 full of lycii berries.
2. Top the jar off with dark rum.
3. Set aside to infuse for about five days. The jar can remain on the counter. Shake once a day.
4. Strain the infused rum into a separate pint jar.
5. Follow the directions below for goji berry cocktail.
Goji Berry Holiday Cocktail
Makes 1 drink
● Lycii berry-infused rum
● Organic cherry juice
1. Fill a champagne flute half full of cherry juice.
2. Top off glass with lycii berry-infused rum.
*Organic lycii berries can be found at the Mountain Rose Herbs Mercantile, 152 W 5th Ave. #3, Eugene, or at mountainroseherbs.com.
Shawn Donnille is owner and CEO of Mountain Rose Herbs.