The Vodka Maypole

Photo by Heami Lee

Throughout many parts of Europe, tall leaf- and flower-adorned maypoles were raised to welcome summertime and signal hopes for a bountiful harvest. Briana Volk, proprietor of Portland Hunt + Alpine Club in Portland, Maine, remembers seeing a maypole when she attended the annual Scandinavian Festival in Astoria, Oregon. 

“As a child, I would go with my Finnish grandparents to watch the crowning of the festival’s Miss Scandinavia, eat baked goods, dance to accordion music and see the maypole be raised,” she says. “The festival was always the highlight of my summer.”  

Her homage is a boozy parfait that layers fresh berries with crushed ice and gets topped with vodka, kombucha and peach. For those who seek a project, Volk suggests swapping kombucha for sima, a Finnish fermented drink flavored with lemons. 

Courtesy Briana Volk, proprietor, Portland Hunt + Alpine Club, Portland, ME 

Ingredients
  • 4 fresh raspberries
  • 6 fresh blueberries
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce crème de pêche liqueur
  • 3 ounces berry kombucha
  • Grapefruit slice, for garnish
  • Mint sprig, for garnish
Directions

Fill Collins glass 1/3 of way with crushed ice. Add layer of raspberries, then top with layer of crushed ice. Add layer of blueberries, then fill glass with crushed ice. 

In separate mixing glass, combine vodka and crème de pêche. Pour approximately 2 ounces berry kombucha into mixing glass, and gently roll glass to combine. Gently pour into Collins glass with ice. Top with remaining berry kombucha. Garnish with grapefruit slice and mint sprig. 

How to Make Crushed Ice

Place ice cubes in plastic bag. Close bag almost completely, leaving small opening for air to escape. Wrap bag in a clean dishtowel. Use meat mallet or rolling pin to pulverize ice into pebble-sized pieces.

Published on June 18, 2021