Spring is here and the flowers are blooming. What better time to whip up a creative cocktail to enjoy outside at a garden party on the rooftop terrace. Springtime cocktails are different from summary ones, which burst with full fruit flavors, or wintertime sippers, which tend to dive into the spices to bring warming sensations to the body.
In the Spring, you want to tap into the herbal pleasures that the earth is bringing forth. Think basil, mint, even ginger, or get even more innovative with regionally-based originals like lemongrass or dandelion. If you do use fruit, they should be citrusy or tangy instead of on the sweet side. Spring cocktails should be fresh and invigorating — exuberating, expressing the flavors of the earth just like all the new life that is exploding everywhere.
Today we have an excellent spring cocktail recipe for you that will bring your taste buds alive with different notes of sour and herbaceousness. Although it's quite exotic and sophisticated tasting, this cocktail is relatively easy to make at home — even if you do not have a full bar set up. In other words, you can do this right in your home kitchen.
The Rosemary Sunset combines the mouth-puckering goodness of fresh grapefruit with the nourishing and energizing power of rosemary. Together with vodka, they get your blood circulating and your mind and heart filled with new sensations and aspirations. After all, spring is here and there is no better way to ring it in than with a classy cocktail that sets the night on fire.
Making Rosemary-Infused Vodka
This recipe has two parts and needs some preparation. First, you must make the rosemary-infused vodka, which should be done at least a day before you make the cocktail. If you do it a week ahead of time, it will be even stronger. The good news is it will keep and you can use it over and over to make this cocktail for more than just one occasion.
Here is what you will need:
- A 750ml bottle of Vodka
- A sprig of fresh rosemary (two is even better)
- One quart glass jar
Now take the sprig(s) of rosemary and place them in the quart-sized jar in a way that they do not poke out of it, It's okay to pack them in a bit if that's what it takes.
Pour the entire bottle of vodka into the jar so that it completely covers the rosemary. Close the jar and let it sit at room temperature overnight — or over several nights if you can — being careful not to place it in direct sunlight.
Keep tasting the concoction to make sure that the rosemary is being extracted into the alcohol. When it is done, remove the sprig(s) from the alcohol, and pour it carefully back into the original vodka bottle. Now you have rosemary-infused vodka!
Making a Grapefruit Sunset
This next step allows you to use the rosemary-infused vodka you just made to make a refreshingly delicious cocktail. Done right, this will blow the mind of your friends and family as once the infused vodka is prepared, the rest is plain and simple mixology 101.
Here is what you will need:
- Rosemary-infused vodka
- Simple syrup
- Pink grapefruit juice
- Rosemary sprigs (for garnish)
- Bar shot measuring cups
- Tumbler glasses (any glasses will do, really)
- Ice cubes
Begin by adding ice cubes to the tumbler glasses; you want to add enough so that they reach the rim of the glass but not so many that you completely fill it. How many ice cubes you will use exactly depends on the size of ice cubes you use, but in general four to five of the standard freezer-made cubes will do.
Now you want to add one shot of the rosemary-infused vodka to the glass filled with ice cubes. This should fill the glass somewhere between a quarter to a third way full, with the ice cubes of course. If you want, you can do a double shot, but be sure to taste test first as you don't want the rosemary to overpower the citrus flavor that you are about to add.
Now add the pink grapefruit juice. Pour in enough so that the glass is filled almost to the rim. It should mix well with the vodka, but for better consistency and more equally distributed alcohol content you can use a small stirring stick or spoon to mix the vodka and juice together before serving.
For a final touch, add a piece of the sprig of rosemary to the rim of the glass, or float it on top of the cocktail for decorative flair and some extra fresh herbaceous flavor. You can also play with citrus rinds with this one: a small slice of lemon or a shaved piece of lemon rind adds some extra color and flavor that will be sure to get you even more wows!
Serve this cocktail nice and ice-cold as soon as possible after preparation. It makes a great before-dinner drink and also a nice nightcap if the weather has begun a turn for the warmer. Outdoor afternoon cocktails parties are the best setting for this wonder though, and they will soon have everyone mingling energetically and begging for round two, so make sure you make enough to please them.