The Noble

By Mark Williams


Noble fir trees have a stunning flavour of grapefruit that pairs wonderfully with gin, reflecting and enhancing the flavours of juniper. Douglas fir works almost as well for this recipe, as do many other needled conifers.

  • 25ml The Botanist Gin
  • 25ml Noble Fir needle infused gin (fill a jar with needles and steep for 4 – 6 days)
  • 25ml Cocchi americano (or other dry vermouth)
  • A drop of conifer resin, if available – see foraging notes
  • 10ml Rose petal syrup
  • 5ml Crab Apple Verjus (or use citrus juice)
  • Rose petal tincture


Stir the first 4 ingredients with ice then double strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a rubbed a frond of fresh needles and spray some rose tincture on top.

There’s a good chance your christmas tree is a noble fir. If it isn’t its proably something almost as delicious that will fit this recipe just as well. Most conifer needles will work – wild or cultivated – see my Drinker’s Guide to Conifers for more information and a couple of things to avoid. If you are using a christmas tree, be sure to check that it hasn’t been sprayed with needle glue or fire-retardant, and trim off enough needles for the recipe as soon as you get it home – not after its been drying out in a centrally heated room for 2 weeks!

Conifer resin is best harvest by either picking the dried resin from wounds on the mature trees, or (ideally), squeezing the blisters on the bark of young firs into a beech or sorrel leaves

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