Norton Christopher has been in the restaurant industry since 1999.

He is currently the beverage director for Pardos Restaurant Group on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain in South Louisiana. He is part of the Chilled 100 group in the Louisiana market.

When the colder weather hits, Norton craves butternut squash. He inspired his cocktail around this winter vegetable.

Butternut Squash Pimms

Butternut Squash Pimms

Butternut Squash Pimms

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 oz. Butternut Squash infused Pimms Liqueur*
  • 3/4 oz. Barrel-aged Drumshanbo Irish Gin (Can substitute with regular Drumshanbo)**
  • 1/2 oz. Culantro Syrup***
  • 1/2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Lime Juice
  • Dry Ginger Beer (Q Tonic)
  • 5 dashes of Angostura Bitters
  • 2 sprigs of African Blue Basil

Preparation: Combine all ingredients, except for one sprig of African blue basil and the ginger, into a shaker. Shake and double strain into a Collins glass. Fill with ice and top with a dry ginger beer. Garnish with African blue basil and a piece of charred butternut squash****.

*Barrel-Aged Drumshanbo

Cure barrel by following barrel instructions. Fill the barrel to the top with Drumshanbo and age for at least 30 days. Check once a week after that until the level of preferred age is reached. Empty barrel and store in repurposed bottles.

**Butternut Squash Pimms Liqueur

Ingredients: 

  • 300g Roasted butternut squash
  • 1-liter Pimms Liqueur

Preparation: Place ingredients into an airtight container and infuse for 72 hours. Strain out the butternut squash and store it in a repurposed bottle.

***Culantro Syrup

Ingredients: 

  • 400g Water
  • 400g Sugar
  • 30g Culantro (can substitute cilantro if culantro is unavailable)

Preparation: Combine all ingredients into a pot and bring to a very low boil. Cook for 5 minutes then take off the heat and let steep until completely cool. Strain out the liquid.

****Roasted Butternut Squash

Cut up the desired amount of squash, toss with olive oil and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until roasted through but still firm. To char for the garnish either place under broiler or use a brûlée torch. The natural sugars will caramelize and char.