Cran-Rosemary Julep

Winter solstice. It’s a bit of a celebration around here. And where there are cheers and my dears, there are cocktails. This year, we opted to celebrate with a chill night of tapas paired with tall glasses of sangria and this festive bevvy: Cran-rosemary juleps. Here’s how we made them.

Ingredients (makes 4)

  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries, halved with a knife or smashed with a mallet
  • 4 tsp white sugar
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary (each about 1 1/2 inches long)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Orange slices and rosemary sprigs, to garnish
  • Club soda, to top (optional)

Place the frozen cranberries in a cocktail shaker, and add the sugar. With a muddler, grind the sugar into the berries until slushy. Add the rosemary and lemon zest, and muddle again. Pour in the bourbon, secure the lid, shake, and place the shaker in the fridge to chill and infuse for three hours.

When it’s cocktail time, stir the freshly squeezed lemon juice into the shaker, and prepare four highball glass with ice. Next, carefully strain the bourbon mixture evenly among the glasses (you might even want to use the back of a spoon to squeeze every last drop of boozy goodness from the slushy berries!). Garnish with a slice of orange and a sprig of rosemary. For a less potent drink, top with a splash of club soda.

The verdict: Very easy drinking—especially with a splash of club soda. That said, even though this cocktail is light on the booze, the bourbon comes through loud and clear. Also surprisingly nice were the little bits of crushed cranberries that made it past the strainer. They offered little pops of sour that brightened the drink and complemented the woodsy bitterness of the rosemary. Looked awfully pretty, too.

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