Vodka-cranberry just got a lot more sophisticated. Lemon juice and orange bitters add citrusy flavor and a hint of bitterness, while a rosemary honey introduces an herbal note. If you think your guests might like something even lighter, top off the drinks with club soda or sparkling wine. And feel free to sprinkle some cranberries right into the punch bowl. Don’t be intimidated by the rosemary honey; it’s a two-step process that only requires a minute of your time.
Reprinted with permission from Be Your Own Bartender: A Surefire Guide to Finding (and Making) Your Perfect Cocktail by Carey Jones and John McCarthy, copyright © 2018. Published by Countryman Press.
- For the Rosemary Honey:
- 5 large rosemary sprigs (each about 5 inches)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) honey
- For the Cocktail:
- 2 ounces (60ml) vodka
- 3/4 ounce (20ml) 100% cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce (30ml) fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 ounce (20ml) Rosemary Honey
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Lemon wheel, for garnish
- Rosemary sprig, for garnish
Make the Rosemary Honey: In a heatproof, sealable container, pour 4 ounces (120ml) boiling water over the rosemary. Let steep, covered, for 20 minutes, then stir in honey until dissolved. Continue steeping until completely cool, about 1 hour. Strain before using.
Make the Cocktail: Combine all ingredients except for garnishes in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a sprig of rosemary, clapping the herb between your palms before adding it to the drink.
Cocktail shaker and strainer
To serve a crowd, in a 1-quart sealable container, combine each listed ingredient, multiplied by 6. Seal, then shake hard to incorporate ingredients. Pour into a 2-quart pitcher over 4 cups (500g) ice and give a quick stir, then set aside as you prepare glasses or garnishes; the drink will be sufficiently chilled and diluted within 10 minutes. Stir to reincorporate ingredients, then serve and garnish as directed.
Make-Ahead and Storage
To make a large batch in advance ahead of time, combine all ingredients in a 1-quart sealable container and refrigerate until ready for use. When you’re ready to serve, shake hard and stir over ice in the same manner.