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!
- 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
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!