Bright, earthy, and refreshing, this Winter Solstice cocktail is magic in a glass.
With sprigs of rosemary and a sugary red cranberry garnish, its tart flavor is easy to drink without being too sweet.
Make the mixer ahead of time for an easy but impressive touch to your winter holiday gathering.
The Ingredient of Magic
This Yule recipe includes ingredients with special meaning to the Winter Solstice season.
The trick of kitchen witchery is to incorporate ingredients that are both tasty and infused with ritual meaning.
This one will enchant any holiday party with the spirit of the season.
In magic, cranberries symbolize the warmth of friendship and love. Cranberry juice is sometimes used in ritual for libation as an alcohol-free wine substitute.
These bitter, delicious fruits also represent blood ties, making it especially appropriate for family gatherings at this time of year.
Rosemary is a classic winter herb.
As an evergreen, it’s hardy during the cold months of most zones in the United States, so if you have some in your garden, there’s a good chance you can pick it fresh for this recipe.
It’s most commonly used in love spells and as a protection herb. In this recipe, we include it to offer blessing and protection of the home, where we spend most of our time during the coldest season of the year.
Often used to “sweeten” moods in spell craft, sugar also conveniently resembles snow, making it a kitchen witch’s staple during the Yule season.
You may recall at least one dreamlike night in your life in which alcohol warped your sense of time and space. So it’s no wonder that magic and folklore attach themselves to liquors of any variety.
Bourbon is no exception. We use it in this Winter Solstice cocktail for its tendency to “heat up” party atmospheres. It’s also known to heal emotional wounds—when consumed in moderation! Go too far and you’re sure to wake up with a wounded headache!
As a virgin cocktail.
You can omit the alcohol entirely and make this a “mocktail.” Its pleasing flavor works well as a wintery punch. Feel free to simply leave out the bourbon.
Sugared rosemary & cranberries.
This Winter Solstice cocktail looks especially festive with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish.
It’s super easy. Just dip the rosemary and the cranberries in a bowl of water and roll them in sugar. Allow them to dry and then pop them in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them.
Cranberry Rosemary Winter Solstice Cocktail
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 2 ounces high-quality bourbon
- optional: cranberries rolled in sugar for garnish
- In a small saucepan, whisk sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Turn the heat down to low. Whisk in ground cinnamon. Add sprigs of rosemary and allow them to simmer for 5-6 minutes.
- Strain and pour the syrup into a clean, glass jar. Allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator.
- Place the syrup and all the remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Divide evenly between to martini or cocktail glasses rimmed with sugar. Garnish with sugared cranberries or sprigs of rosemary.