Cocktails on the Croft | Cranberry, Rosemary and Clementine Cocktail

Cranberry, Rosemary and Clementine Cocktail

Living alone, I do far too little drinking.  Somehow, drinking alone at home feels vaguely unseemly to me and I’ve decided I’ve got to nip that nonsense in the bud!  So once a month or maybe every couple of weeks I’m going to try a new mixed drink….and maybe some old favorites, too.  I’m also going to try to use some harvested or foraged goods from the croft as much as possible.  What good is having an acreage if it can’t get you drunk?!? Heh, heh *awkward laugh*

Simple Syrups

I don’t know if it’s just because I am new to cocktail making, or if there truly is, a current craze for making flavored simple syrups. Whichever it is, it is a technique I am discovering which really opens up the cocktail vista. True to their name, simple syrups are very simple to make! This particular recipe, which was taken from the blog Coley Cooks, starts with making a rosemary and clementine peel infused simple syrup.

To infuse the simple syrup, mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 4 sprigs of rosemary and the peel of 2 clementines on the stove. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm. Turn off the heat, pop on the pot’s lid and let the mixture sit for at least an hour. Mine probably sat for two, which may have been too long for this particular mixture. More on that later (spoiler alert – the syrup may have been just a tad too rosemary forward).

The finished simple syrup

This simple syrup revolution, whether it be in my head or in reality, is seriously opening up the world of cocktails for me. The sky’s the limit! With a cup of sugar, a cup of water and whatever flavoring you can imagine, you can add that flavor and bit of sweetness to some booze. I am excited about this!

Here’s the rest of the cocktail recipe

This one was simple to make but has a lot of different flavors going in. I used a double shot glass to measure my “parts”. One full shot = 2 parts.

Doubleshot of VODKA
  • 2 parts Vodka
  • Ice
  • 1 Small Clementine (like one of the ones’ you peeled earlier to make the simple syrup)
  • 1-2 parts simple syrup (I did 1.5 and think I will cut it to 1 next time)
  • 3 parts unsweetened cranberry juice NOT cranberry cocktail (um, OOPS – totally didn’t catch this and all I had was cranberry cocktail)
  • Club soda or dry sparkling wine to top off (I had neither of these so used seltzer)
The ingredients
  1. Muddle the clementine in the shaker
  2. Fill the shaker with ice, then…
  3. Add vodka, cranberry, and simple syrup
  4. Give it a shake
  5. Decant into a glass with ice, leaving enough room to…
  6. Top off the glass with your sparkling whatever
I’m really flummoxed by the muddling process – what does one use to muddle in a tall shaker? This is what I improvised; rolling pin. I muddled the crap out of those clemetines!

My Verdict

This was tasty….BUT would have been better, I think, if I had put it together exactly as the recipe was written. I can’t believe I am saying this, because I am a sugar fiend, but it was too sweet. It needed the tart of the unsweetened cranberry and a dry sparkling wine would have also helped keep it balanced. Adding just 1 part and not 1.5 parts of the simple syrup would also help.

And the rosemary. The rosemary was a tad too strong – not really overwhelming but a bit too… present. In future incarnations I think I would only use 1 part instead of 1.5 parts of the rosemary infused simple syrup.

I liked the idea of this cocktail so much that the next night I decided to play with it. I subbed this lovely boreal spruce gin at the same ratio as the vodka. Ah. Gin. How I love thee.

From a distillery in Duluth, MN – Vikre Distillery

Left out the clementines (they were one of the worst sweetness offenders) and cut the simple syrup back to only 1 part. Finally, I went for tonic water instead of the seltzer. Sooooo, basically a gin and tonic with cranberry juice and a little orange-rosemary simple syrup. THIS was amazing. Still too sweet but better and I think the gin melded better than the vodka with the hint of rosemary. Or maybe I just really love gin?

Final Scores:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

3 out of 5 stars for the original recipe which I also didn’t completely replicate sooooo…

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4 out of 5 stars for my abomination with gin and sans clementine. A beautiful abomination.

Book Recommendation

I love books and reading, so I can’t resist including a book recommendation with each post. The book will, in some way, correspond to the post.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Buying the book below from amazon will earn me a commission.  

One of my very favorite genres of book, especially in the last 3 or so years, are historical mysteries. Mysteries set in the 1920s are particularly prevalent, probably as an homage to Ms. Christie. Murder at Archly Manor, the first in a series by Sara Rosett is one such book (every book set in the 1920s makes me think of cocktails) that I particularly enjoy. The heroine for these books is especially independent and sassy and all the mysteries in this series have been great fun. Overall reliably enjoyable reads and a series I quickly read all the installments available. Olivia Belgrave is from a well-to-do family but has determined to work for her living. In desperation she takes on the job of investigating the dodgy fiance’ of a friend but soon finds herself mired in a murder investigation.

If you want to know more about me and Keeper’s Croft, check out the ABOUT page.

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