Gin and Blood Orange Sparkler

Does this look refreshing or what??

I’ve never been a big “gin” person, but I recently had a gin cocktail and it was AMAZING.  I think I might be a convert!  Gin is really herbal (I’ve always thought it tasted a little like the pine needles of a Christmas tree), so with fresh herbs (like the rosemary in this cocktail) it’s really delicious.  If you hate rosemary, this is not the drink for you, but it’s easy enough to leave it out!

If you’ve never tried rosemary in a drink, you must – it might sound weird, but it’s awesome.  My first experience with an herbal cocktail was at a friend’s wedding.  Her signature drink was a pear martini with rosemary.  OMG… SOOOOO good.  Maybe that will be the next drink I feature on here, but as blood oranges are “in season” let’s stick with the topic… shall we?

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (~2 sprigs-worth) fresh rosemary leaves 
blood oranges
ice cubes
tonic water (or sparkling water)
Combine the water, sugar and rosemary in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes, or long enough for the sugar to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let the herbs infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a jar to cool completely.  This is essentially simple syrup, infused with rosemary.  Easy peasy.
While that’s going on the stove, juice and strain your oranges, you’ll need 1.5 oz of juice for each drink.
To make each drink combine equal parts gin, juice, and tonic water with a bit of syrup and ice. So, 1.5 oz gin, 1.5 oz freshly squeezed blood orange juice, and 1-2 teaspoons of the rosemary syrup in each highball glass. Stir to combine, fill each glass 2/3 full with ice and top off with 3 tablespoons / 1 1/2 oz tonic water. Stir again and you’re set.  This could also be mixed with the ice in a cocktail shaker and strained into martini glasses if you prefer.
Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 10 min

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