Hail Rosemary

It's Christmas time! And that means plenty of good food, lots of presents and varying amounts of alcohol. Full of Christmas spirit, I thought it would be a good idea to create some kind of Christmas cocktail. And after some pondering I arrived at a pretty delicious and unusual drink.

A Powerful Herb

When trying to come up with a recipe I thought about the different ways a cocktail could satisfy the requirement of Christmas cocktail. After thinking about colors for a while I struggled to create something which would actually taste good. And since I'm not a big fan of cocktails that look great but taste mediocre I knew I had to try another angle.

It didn't take long until the rosemary tincture which I made in summer came to my mind. I knew this ingredient would fit the Christmas theme. Not only does it look like a Christmas tree, but it is also a common ingredient in roasts and other winter-y food. Not to mention that the rosemary I have in my garden survives even the coldest winters.

Making a rosemary tincture couldn't be simpler. Just put some rosemary and vodka together. Done. Since rosemary has a pretty bold flavor, a short infusion time is more than enough. Even after just one day you get a pretty nice rosemary aroma, so taste it every day and let it infuse until you are content. The recipe below is for a full bottle of vodka, but you can easily just make a fraction of that.


Rosemary Tincture

  • 700ml Vodka
  • 2 Handful of Rosemary

Clean the rosemary and put it in a jar. Cover it with vodka and let it infuse for up to three days. Shake the jar every day. After the mixture had time to infuse, strain and fill into a bottle.


Now that I had one flavor down, I needed other ingredients that would stand up to the strong flavor of rosemary. The other ingredients should be robust and characteristic; also the whole cocktail should be something that's easy to sip during a Christmas dinner. I realized that a Manhattan would probably be the perfect partner for my tincture.


Holy Rosemary Cocktail

The Holy Rosemary

Pour the rye, vermouth and rosemary tincture into a mixing glass with ice and stir for 25 seconds. Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. A brandied cherry is optional.


A good and powerful cocktail that combines the earthy flavors of rosemary and rye with sweet vermouth. At first you will notice the rosemary, but it is immediately followed by the familiar flavor of a Manhattan. The aromas come together seamlessly and the whiskey is never upstaged, but rather supported by subtle flavors of wine and herbs.

If you like your Manhattan with a brandied cherry, adding one here can't harm this drink. The union of rosemary and cherry is something odd, but good.

Happy Imbibing

The rosemary tincture has been sitting on my shelf for months. I wondered if I would find a good use for it. Now I found a really good use for it. Rosemary with its woody and earthy flavor is the kind of herb that doesn't fit easily into a cocktail, but combining it with whiskey is quite delicious. The Holy Rosemary cocktail also goes great with a traditional Christmas dinner, which was the point of this whole endeavour.

With this I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy some good food and drinks in the next couple of days. There is only one post left this year and it will probably feature a punch. Because punch is the perfect drink to serve at a New Years party. Since releasing the next post on Friday next week would be too late, I will schedule it a bit earlier. Follow me on Twitter or subscribe so you get notified right away.


Title image via pixabay.