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Juniper & Ivy’s Wee Little Lad: a play on strawberries and cream

“She started singing the ‘berries and cream’ song from Starburst… and that just kind of stuck.”

Wee Little Lad
Wee Little Lad
Nick Gergen

“Berries and cream, berries and cream, I’m a wee little lad who loves berries and cream,” sang a colleague of Nick Gergen’s when he told her about the strawberries-and-cream-flavored cocktail he was creating for Juniper & Ivy. “I was trying to come up with a name,” he recalls, “and she started singing the ‘berries and cream’ song from Starburst… and that just kind of stuck.”

Place

Juniper and Ivy

2228 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

What he doesn’t quite recall is the precise inspiration for the Wee Little Lad’s recipe. “I think I might’ve just been perusing the vast expanse that the internet is, and I came across strawberries and cream, and thought it might be a cool idea to turn that into a cocktail.” He does know that he wanted to experiment with clarified milk punch. “It was a new technique for me. I had been trying to tinker around with it via other people, and then I really just wanted to get my hands dirty and try it myself.”

He says he was surprised to learn that “it’s a super old technique: the process of bringing milk to a steam and then removing it from heat,” before adding the mix of other ingredients. “You pour it over the milk and it instantaneously curdles. And at that point, it looks very unappetizing,” he jokes. “Then you let it sit for a period of time, and then you strain it through a fine strainer. And from there you begin the slow process of coffee filter straining...and it slowly starts to drip all the particles out. And when you’re done, you get —” here he pauses, noting that the concoction would ordinarily end up clear, but since his version uses strawberry, “it’s not the most clear. But it has that cool little pink hue to it, which I was looking for — to play on the strawberries and cream characteristics.”

Since the cocktail is pre-batched, he simply pours the finished product over a large ice cube that is copper-stamped with the Juniper & Ivy logo. “This one is [made with] Malahat spiced rum, milk, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and strawberry syrup.” He chose Malahat spiced rum “because it had a lot of the ingredients that strawberries and cream call for, like vanilla and cinnamon, and other characteristics like that.” And because, bewilderingly, “I also found out recently that vanilla, in particular, is more expensive than gold, presently. Pirates are stealing it off ships, and it’s really hard to come by. This was a cool way to circumvent or side-step that issue and still get those same flavor profiles.”

Leftover lactate certainly makes this drink non-vegan, but, Gergen clarifies, “the milk is more of a textural component, you don’t really get much of the flavor behind that. It is more of a tart expression of the strawberries, rounded out by those warming spices like vanilla that you get from the rum.”

Juniper&Ivy
  • Juniper & Ivy’s
  • Wee Little Lad
  • 16 oz. Malahat Spiced Rum
  • 4 oz. strawberry syrup
  • 10 oz. lemon juice
  • 10 oz. pineapple juice
  • 12 oz. milk
  • Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to a steam (do not boil). While the milk is heating, combine other ingredients in a pitcher. Once the milk begins to steam, remove it and pour into a glass/metal mixing bowl. Then pour the rest of the ingredients into the milk; the milk should instantaneously curdle. Let sit for 30 min, then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a new bowl. Pour again through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter over another new bowl, and set in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Repeat 1-2 more times for a clearer cocktail. Once fully strained, pour into a resealable bottle and it will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. When ready to drink, pour 2 oz. over a large ice cube and enjoy.
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Wee Little Lad
Wee Little Lad
Nick Gergen

“Berries and cream, berries and cream, I’m a wee little lad who loves berries and cream,” sang a colleague of Nick Gergen’s when he told her about the strawberries-and-cream-flavored cocktail he was creating for Juniper & Ivy. “I was trying to come up with a name,” he recalls, “and she started singing the ‘berries and cream’ song from Starburst… and that just kind of stuck.”

Place

Juniper and Ivy

2228 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

What he doesn’t quite recall is the precise inspiration for the Wee Little Lad’s recipe. “I think I might’ve just been perusing the vast expanse that the internet is, and I came across strawberries and cream, and thought it might be a cool idea to turn that into a cocktail.” He does know that he wanted to experiment with clarified milk punch. “It was a new technique for me. I had been trying to tinker around with it via other people, and then I really just wanted to get my hands dirty and try it myself.”

He says he was surprised to learn that “it’s a super old technique: the process of bringing milk to a steam and then removing it from heat,” before adding the mix of other ingredients. “You pour it over the milk and it instantaneously curdles. And at that point, it looks very unappetizing,” he jokes. “Then you let it sit for a period of time, and then you strain it through a fine strainer. And from there you begin the slow process of coffee filter straining...and it slowly starts to drip all the particles out. And when you’re done, you get —” here he pauses, noting that the concoction would ordinarily end up clear, but since his version uses strawberry, “it’s not the most clear. But it has that cool little pink hue to it, which I was looking for — to play on the strawberries and cream characteristics.”

Since the cocktail is pre-batched, he simply pours the finished product over a large ice cube that is copper-stamped with the Juniper & Ivy logo. “This one is [made with] Malahat spiced rum, milk, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and strawberry syrup.” He chose Malahat spiced rum “because it had a lot of the ingredients that strawberries and cream call for, like vanilla and cinnamon, and other characteristics like that.” And because, bewilderingly, “I also found out recently that vanilla, in particular, is more expensive than gold, presently. Pirates are stealing it off ships, and it’s really hard to come by. This was a cool way to circumvent or side-step that issue and still get those same flavor profiles.”

Leftover lactate certainly makes this drink non-vegan, but, Gergen clarifies, “the milk is more of a textural component, you don’t really get much of the flavor behind that. It is more of a tart expression of the strawberries, rounded out by those warming spices like vanilla that you get from the rum.”

Juniper&Ivy
  • Juniper & Ivy’s
  • Wee Little Lad
  • 16 oz. Malahat Spiced Rum
  • 4 oz. strawberry syrup
  • 10 oz. lemon juice
  • 10 oz. pineapple juice
  • 12 oz. milk
  • Pour milk into a saucepan and bring to a steam (do not boil). While the milk is heating, combine other ingredients in a pitcher. Once the milk begins to steam, remove it and pour into a glass/metal mixing bowl. Then pour the rest of the ingredients into the milk; the milk should instantaneously curdle. Let sit for 30 min, then pour through a fine mesh strainer into a new bowl. Pour again through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter over another new bowl, and set in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Repeat 1-2 more times for a clearer cocktail. Once fully strained, pour into a resealable bottle and it will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. When ready to drink, pour 2 oz. over a large ice cube and enjoy.
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