I meant for last week’s hot chocolate post to be my last one for 2016, but what can I say? These past few days I’ve been overcome with New Year’s excitement. This year has been a seemingly nonstop string of ugliness and disappointment, and as it winds to a close I know I’m not the only one who won’t be sad to see it go. I’m counting on 2017 being a better year because it just has to be, and I’m going to do my best to start the year off on a positive note. I’ve spent a lot of the past couple months dwelling on the bad stuff the year has brought (I don’t want to bring up a sore subject, but it allll went downhill after the election in my book). I’m trying to balance that negativity with some reflection on some of the great things that have transpired this year, too. I was able to leave a draining job to follow my dreams full time, P and I celebrated a year of marriage and I’ve been lucky to meet some incredibly inspiring and supportive new friends.
In that spirit, P and I decided to throw a last minute New Year’s Eve gathering at our place. It will be just a few friends gathering to say good riddance to 2016 and usher in 2017 together. A New Year’s Eve party calls for cocktails, and that’s where this fruity, herbal and refreshing rosemary gin cocktail with fresh grapefruit juice comes in. It’s no secret that I love rosemary, especially alongside sweet flavors. I made a rosemary-infused simple syrup for this drink and topped it off with a sprig of sugared rosemary for good measure. I also love winter citrus and I’ve been buying it by the bushel the past couple weeks. Pink grapefruit gives this drink its lovely color as well as a tangy – but not sour – punch, but any grapefruit variety will work nicely. Add a splash of gin and you’ve got yourself a perfectly balanced cocktail: a little sweet, a little herbal and so pretty you’ll want serve it to guests. (Psst. It’s easy to make it a mocktail by swapping the gin for tonic.) Read on for the recipe and a little making-of stop motion. Hope you enjoy it, and Bisou and I will see you in the new year!
- 14 oz. freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice (from 4-5 grapefruits)
- 6 oz. gin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- a few rosemary sprigs
- 4 pieces grapefruit peel
- 4 3-inch rosemary sprigs
- superfine sugar
- To make the sugared rosemary sprigs, fill a small bowl with water and a spoonful of sugar. Stir until dissolved. Dip rosemary sprigs in the water, sprinkle generously with the sugar, then set aside to dry for about an hour.
- Make the simple syrup by bringing sugar and water to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add rosemary and remove from heat once the mixture reaches a boil. Steep for 30 minutes, then discard rosemary.
- Strain freshly squeezed grapefruit juice through a fine mesh sieve, then add to a shaker along with gin, 4 oz. simple syrup and ice. Shake and pour, then garnish with the grapefruit peel and sugared rosemary.
Leftover simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for a few weeks. You can make this drink a mocktail by replacing the gin with tonic.