Use Smoked Rosemary for a Festive Rum Punch

Elana Lepkowski

I find that no matter how much I cut it back, I still have a front yard covered in rosemary. I put this hardy herb to use in loads of savory recipes, and cut long swaths of it for winter table decorations, but when there's still more left over, I love adding it to cocktails.

The piney flavor is wonderful with citrus, so I've designed a party punch that brings the two together in one big batch. (It's enough for 16 servings.) You'll start with a simple, fragrant citrus syrup, made with sugar, water, and fresh lemon and lime juice and zest. The punch is spiked, tiki-style, with two different rums to make the flavor more complex: a rich gold rum and a musky, earthy high-proof version. The drink is sweetened with orgeat (pronounced or-zhat), an almond syrup that's made with a touch of orange flower water. A little cinnamon grated on top will start your first sip with a warm, wintry aroma.


But here's where the fun comes in: We're gonna smoke our rosemary. (Ahem—not in a recreational sort of way.) When you're cooking meat on a grill, rosemary branches can be laid straight on the grates. But a little flame indoors works, too: You can produce a quick, fragrant smoke to add to cocktails using the flame on your gas stove. (If you don't have a gas stove, a candle works just fine.) You'll hold the rosemary with heatproof tongs over the open flame, turning it until it begins to give off smoke. To capture the smoky scent, you'll add your smoking rosemary branches to the citrus syrup that flavors this drink, then immediately cover the pot to let the flavor infuse for half an hour.

Be prepared for your house to smell amazing.