Adding to our round-up of holiday drinks, Ryan and I decided to call on one of our favorite winter ingredients, the Meyer lemon. I’ve written about why we love Meyer lemons so much before, but we had never really focused a cocktail on them until now.
The base of this drink, which we’re calling the Stocking Stuffer, is a rosemary- and Meyer lemon-infused simple syrup. I boiled one cup of sugar with a cup of water, a few sprigs of rosemary, and the zest and juice of one lemon. Once the sugar has dissolved, the mixture should be remove from heat and the solids should be discarded. The syrup can then be used for cocktails, or even for baking—it could make a delicious glaze for a pound cake or another dense dessert.
To make the drink itself, shake a 1/2 oz. of fresh lemon juice, 1 oz. of syrup, 2 oz. gin, and a dash or two of aromatic bitters. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and top with soda. Garnish with fresh rosemary, a strip of lemon zest, and if you like, a couple of cranberries.
We used Bittercube’s Jamaican #1 bitters, as they have a kick of ginger, black pepper, and allspice that really adds an extra boost of holiday flavor.
The end result is refreshing, light, and not overly spiritous. A perfect spritzer for an afternoon spent with friends and family.