Holiday Old-Fashioned

Joe Cocker said it best: “I get by with a little help from my friends.”  Around the holidays, sometimes my friends are bourbon and rum.  Ha!  I stumbled across this recipe for a Holiday Old-Fashioned and decided to give it a whirl.  But first, you gotta get some other friends together – rosemary, ginger, and grapefruit…


Rosemary, Ginger, and Grapefruit Syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, strained
  • 5 2-inch-long slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 12 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 2-inch strips grapefruit zest

Combine sugar, water, and grapefruit and stir over medium-high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Gently bruise the ginger and rosemary with the back of a spoon to release their oils.  Add them to the pot along with the grapefruit zest.  Lower heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, being careful to not allow it to boil.  Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight.

At this point, you can keep the mixture in a container for personal use, or make yet another great stocking stuffer!  (For the grown-ups, of course!)  Divide the ginger slices, rosemary sprigs, and grapefruit peel evenly among jars, then fill with syrup.  Write down or print the recipe for the Holiday Old-Fashioned on a slip of paper, punch a hole in it, and tie it around the jar with some twine.  Stockings stuffed!


Holiday Old-Fashioned

  • 1/2 oz Rosemary, Ginger, and Grapefruit Syrup, plus a piece of zest
  • 3 dashes of bitters
  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon club soda
  • ice

Add syrup, bitters, and bourbon to a shaker full of ice.  Shake and strain into a rocks glass.  Top with the club soda and garnish the zest.

That is the “official” recipe.  I tend to use whatever tastes good to me, or what I have on hand.  I enjoy it with rum and a splash of Sprite or club soda, my husband enjoys mixing it with whiskey.  Or skip the alcohol altogether and just add it to plain club soda.  A little bit goes a long way, so play around with it and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas … with your friends!

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