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So, today I thought I’d kick off a month of recipes for your Christmas kitchen with a light, fruity cocktail that is perfect to sip while you’re getting the tree up (if you’ve not put it up already!) or you’re wrapping presents (they’d go perfectly with a batch of my famous Classic Cheese Straws!) It works great for just the two of you or to make up a pitcher for a party crowd – you can keep the rosemary syrup in a sealed jar in the fridge so you can whip them up at short notice throughout the festive period. I always puzzle at magazine and recipe tips indicating something is suitable for last minute holiday guests, because I think in 24 years I’ve never had any (who just turns up at someones home unannounced?) but I’ve asked around and apparently they are a thing!
It is worth noting here that this is the last post in my four part collaboration I’ve been running with Appletiser this year, and I am really sad it is over. I think they have been one of my favourite brands to team up with ever, and I’ve loved creating barbecue recipes, sausage rolls, apple hand pies, and now cocktails with them. Their glass bottles of sparkling apple and apple and pomegranate juice are beautiful, so be sure to throw them into your Christmas shop to set on the table for children/ tee totalers/ chauffeurs!
Another of my festive entertaining tips (at least on the drinks side of things) so you’re prepared for anything is as well as stocking up on ice cubes for the freezer (supermarket ice always lasts longer in your drink than cubes you’ve made yourself at home) and all the usual suspects, make sure you have a few good core spirits and things to mix them with. That means getting a quality bottle of vodka (I love Grey Goose) and one of gin (my house gin is Gin Mare) – don’t bother with whiskey as people are so particular, just let guests choose from your selection) – bags of lemons and limes to slice for drinks (store them at the bottom of the fridge so they last longer, and bottles of Appletiser and good quality tonic water (don’t be stingy and buy Schweppes!)
To make one cocktail served over ice I’ve included the measurements below, but of course scale it up if you wish, feel free to make more syrup so you can keep it in the fridge, or to make a couple of them up as a pitcher. While I think the bottles are pretty cans of Appletiser are more practical to keep in a stuffed festive fridge, so I’ve designed each cocktail to use one can each. Also, just a note on the rosemary syrup – I’ve made it with more water than a regular cocktail syrup, as I wanted more flavour and a bit less sugar, as Appletiser is already quite sweet by itself! To this end, use the driest prosecco you can find for the perfectly balanced drink!
A delicious, sweet, herbal pomegranate and rosemary spritz cocktail great for a festive celebration.
3 Large Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, plus extra for garnish
3 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
250m Pomegrante Appletiser
3 tbsp Gin
Large Handful Ice Cubes
To make the rosemary syrup, combine the rosemary with the sugar and 6 tbsp of water in a very small saucepan. Set over a medium heat and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved, and remove from the heat. Set aside to infuse until the syrup is completely cold, then strain out the rosemary.
To make the cocktails, stir 3 tbsp of the syrup into the gin in the bottom of a small jug, and add the Appletiser and prosecco.
Stir gently, then pour over the ice in a tumbler. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, and enjoy straight away.
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