Holiday Cocktail Cure-All: Rosemary

We can’t even believe we’re saying this, but even Eleven James has to admit that by this point in the season our holiday drinking routines can start to feel boring. Enough Champagne toasts, stress-numbing Old Fashioneds, and whatever-you’re-stuck-with-at-the-in-laws’-table can make weary even the most intrepid tippler, so we’ve endeavored to find the single ingredient to revive your libational inspiration and get your holiday drinking game back. That ingredient is rosemary!

If you thought this herb was just for roasts and scented candles, you’ll be treating your palate to a flavor profile that’s as refreshing as it is comfortingly familiar. Rosemary’s aromatic gusto is about as seasonal as you can get right now, and the flavor infuses a woody depth into any drink.

We’ve curated a few choice selections that you can make for a party or for yourself: a tart gin punch whose brightness is complimented by a rosemary infusion and an orangey bourbon sour with malted oak flavors that are enhanced by the evergreen herb—all superb flavors of the season, and all sure to delight anyone whose lips they pass.

Evergreen Fizz


  • 3 cups club soda
  • 1.5 cups white cranberry juice
  • 1.5 cups chilled gin (EJ recommends Leopold’s American Small Batch Gin)
  • 0.25 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus sprigs for garnish
  • Fresh, raw cranberries for garnish


  • Combine cranberry juice, sugar, and rosemary in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  • Strain juice mixture through a sieve into a bowl, repeating if necessary; discard solids.
  • Stir in lime juice, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, about two hours.
  • Combine juice mixture, club soda, and gin in a large pitcher; stir well to combine.
  • Serve over ice and garnish with small rosemary sprig* and several cranberries speared onto a martini pick or toothpick.

Rosemary: the holiday cocktail cure-all

Christmas Tree Sour


  • 2 shots bourbon (EJ recommends Tuthilltown Spirits Hudson Four Grain Bourbon)
  • 1 shot orange liqueur (EJ recommends Combier triple sec)
  • Half shot fresh lemon juice
  • Splash of orange blossom water
    This can be found in specialty and ethic food stores, or online
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • Orange twist for garnish


  • Gently crush one rosemary spring in your hand and toss into a cocktail shaker, along with the bourbon, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and orange blossom water.
  • Shake with ice for ten seconds and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube or sphere.
  • Rim the glass with the orange twist, drop the twist into the glass, and garnish with the top part of the other rosemary sprig.*


* Note that a larger rosemary sprig with a thicker stem can contribute a bitter, sap-like flavor to a drink when added as a garnish, so unless you’re into that sort of thing, keep your garnish sprig small.

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