Every year around this time, I make a batch of cranberry rosemary simple syrup to make a Christmas Old Fashioned, which I originally discovered years ago at The BOATHOUSE in Disney Springs. Every year, I end up posting a picture on social media, and without fail – I’m asked for a recipe. Well, here is my version of the Christmas Old Fashioned cocktail inspired by The BOATHOUSE version.
The key to this version of an Old Fashioned is the cranberry and rosemary infused simple syrup, which is easy to make once you have all the ingredients: water, sugar, cranberries, and rosemary. I start with a basic simple syrup 1 part water, 1 part sugar in a pot on the stove, adding 1 bag of cranberries and a handful of rosemary. Save some cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish.
Recipe, what recipe? Honesty, I tend to eyeball the measurements for the 1:1 ratio, and I try to make sure there is enough water in the pot to allow the cranberries to float. Once everything is in the pot, bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring occasionally, I let the mixture boil just long enough for the cranberries to break open. Then I remove from the pot from the heat, and cover allowing it to cool.
Once the mixture is cool, I strain it through a mesh strainer a few times until you’ve separated out all the simply syrup from the rosemary and cranberry solids. As you can see in the pictures, I have a couple bottles with vented pouring spouts I use for storing the final cranberry and rosemary infused simply syrup. Below is a basic recipe for the cranberry and rosemary infused simple syrup.
The hard part of making this drink is done!
Now for the easy part, building a Christmas Old Fashioned. For this version you will not need a sugar cube as we are substituting in the cranberry and rosemary infused simple syrup. Over at The BOATHOUSE, they have used a variety of whiskeys over the years such as Heaven’s Door Bourbon and Angel’s Envy Bourbon. I am not going to name drop a specific whiskey, Bourbon, or Rye – I use something different depending on what we have on hand. Use what you like, and have available. Below is a rough recipe to guide you. Basically, take a standard Old Fashioned recipe and replace the sugar cube and water with the simple syrup. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to not follow an exact recipe.
Old Fashioned Christmas Cocktail
- bar spoon or 1/4 ounce Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup (more or less based on your preference)
- 2 dashes Orange bitters (Orange is my preference here, but Angostura Bitters are fine)
- 2 ounces bourbon or rye (more or less based on your preference)
- Garnish: cranberries and sprig of rosemary
Place a cube of ice in a rocks glass.
Add the whiskey, bourbon, rye of your choosing.
Add the Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup
Add bitters to a rocks glass and stir.
Add a few cranberries and the sprig of rosemary and enjoy your Old Fashioned Christmas responsibly!
FYI, cats also enjoy rosemary…
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!!