Sunday, December 6, 2009

rosemary gin fizz

rosemary gin fizz

Face it, there’s only so much eggnog you can drink before you’ll need to loosen that belt one notch. I’m not one to count calories – I drink my milk whole, braise my brussels sprouts in cream, and never ever skip dessert. I’m a girl who likes to indulge, albeit in moderation, but I find that life restrained is not for me. I like balance, but I like to have my fun too. Clotted cream? Why, thank you! Bacon with my pancakes? But of course! And when real-to-goodness-made-from-scratch eggnog is offered to me, I, mostly, can’t say no.

rosemary gin fizz

However, I have to be prudent. A drink made with eggs, heavy cream and milk can only be considered a protein shake for so long. Yes, I’ve actually referred to it as such, but I’m prone to stretching definitions. Also, there will come a time in every holiday season, when I look at a perfectly respectable eggnog, lovingly garnished with freshly grated nutmeg, and I want to gag. This usually happens a few days before Christmas when I’ve been liberally indulging in the holiday spirit and start wearing leggings, sweater dresses and outfits generous enough to hide a food baby. But indulgences aside, sometimes eggnog just is too rich for my taste. Sometimes, I want a holiday cocktail that’s light and effervescent and smells of Christmas. Please take that Christmas tree, shove it in my drink and serve it forth!

I’d like to present to you with such a drink – the Rosemary Gin Fizz. Now, doesn’t that sound celebratory in and of itself? Just saying fizz makes me feel festive, like I want to put on a flapper dress and one of those cute hats and go dance a foxtrot. Never mind that I don’t know how to dance a foxtrot; it’s the spirit of the idea, well, you get the point. A Fizz is actually a cocktail dating back to the 19th century, and the Gin Fizz is the most famous Fizz variation. The Gin Fizz is supposed to contain gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water – and is to be served in a highball glass. The version here, infused with rosemary, is kind of a genius idea – highlighting the woodsy, green notes of gin, and deviating from the traditional, expected gin and tonic citrus notes. Here, gin matures and steps up in sophistication. I like to think of it as a gin’s cotillion, when it finally steps out in society.

rosemary gin fizz

When I first had the Rosemary Gin Fizz, it was years ago, at a colleague’s holiday party, and I was beside myself – it was the kind of clean, crisp, wintry taste you immediately take to and think to yourself, “Where has this cocktail been all my life?” It’s an instant, immediate friendship. And if one could become besotted with a cocktail, then I certainly was. I must have consumed a goodly amount of the made-to-order cocktail. My colleague’s then-girlfriend, now-wife, worked for Food & Wine magazine, and got the recipe from their holiday entertaining issue. The secret, she told me, was a rosemary-infused simple syrup. Add to that some gin, a little club soda, some fresh lemon juice and a sprig of red currant (missing from the pictures here because when I made these for my housewarming party in October, red currants were nowhere to be found) – and you got yourself a very festive cocktail. One that smells just like Christmas in a glass!

I had much to learn. At the time, I didn’t even know what simple syrup was, never mind one infused with an herb.

rosemary gin fizz

Well, tipsy and giddy, I diligently (or so I thought) copied the recipe down. You can only imagine my penmanship after half a dozen of these babies. In the morning, upon looking at my scribbles, I couldn’t read a thing. Embarrassing, as I could barely remember the act of scribbling itself. I felt like a pest and didn’t want to bother my colleague about the recipe again, but the cocktail swirled around in my mind each holiday season. And each holiday season, I would forget to make it. And so the years flew by, until my housewarming party in October, when I decided to make Rosemary Gin Fizz for my guests.

rosemary gin fizz

Well, it was a hit.

No. That would be an understatement. I didn’t leave my kitchen bar area all night because I kept making more batches for my thirsty friends. It was beyond a hit. In fact, people still talk about that cocktail and apparently rave about it to friends and family. I suppose, in the spirit of the holidays, it’s time for me to share it with all of you. Because, like I said before, there’s only so much eggnog an individual can take. And since it is the season of giving, I suppose I should finally put my money where my mouth is.

Rosemary Gin Fizz
Adapted from Food & Wine, December 2002

1/4 cup gin (I recommend either Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray to highlight the woodsy features of the gin. I don’t recommend Hendricks, which is my favorite gin, as it’s flavored with cucumbers and rose petals and will thus change the tasting notes of the drink.)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Rosemary Syrup (see below)
Ice cubes
Cold club soda
1 rosemary sprig and fresh red currants, for garnish


1. In a tall glass, stir the gin, lemon juice and Rosemary Syrup.

2. Fill the glass halfway with ice; top with club soda. Garnish with the rosemary and currants and serve.

Rosemary Syrup:

2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 rosemary sprigs, rinsed


Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over moderately low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup and chill. (The syrup can be prepared and chilled for up to 1 week.)

To get the most juice out of your lemons, microwave the whole fruit at high power for about 20 seconds, then roll it on the counter while pressing firmly before cutting and squeezing.

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  • 1

    Sounds smashing. And that last photo … simply gorgeous.
    Cheers –

    December 6, 2009 9:02 pm
  • 2
    Whitney said:

    This sounds like a pretty perfect cocktail for a New Year’s Party. And Gin is my favorite. So festive!

    December 6, 2009 9:12 pm
  • 3
    Claire said:

    Looks beautifully refreshing – which is needed as it’s HOT here at the moment (Sydney)! A lovely Christmas cocktail that looks long, cool and unusual – may become a favourite.. And my rosemary has taken off in the garden – do yo think that’s fate??

    December 6, 2009 10:01 pm
  • 4
    janelle said:

    LOVE the feeling of ‘where you have you been all my life’? LOVE finding drinks and eats that make me feel that way;))))

    December 7, 2009 1:43 am
  • 5

    A really good trick about this drink is to run your lighter over the branch of rosemary before you use it to garnish that drink. The flame will heat up the oils in the sprig, and your guest will get a blast of rosemary scent. Since it is my favorite herb, you would be a hit with me!

    December 7, 2009 5:54 am
  • 6
    meleyna said:

    So, so excited for this. Despite my tree full of lemons out back, I may be making rosemary simple syrup as giveaways this year instead of homemade limoncello.

    December 7, 2009 7:04 am
  • 7
    katie said:

    This looks fantastic. I think it’s the year of gin cocktails at the holidays for me (not something to complain about, since gin is my favorite!) and I’m seeing a theme developing for my upcoming holiday party. This will be much more welcome than eggnog! Thanks for posting.

    December 7, 2009 12:28 pm
  • 8
    codfish said:

    Oh nice, an excuse for gin drinking in the winter! Thanks for the brand tip, too, as I would’ve used Hendrick’s otherwise–my favorite as well.

    December 7, 2009 3:02 pm
  • 9

    Yowee! That looks great! Love rosemary! Can’t wait to try this. Thanks so much. :D

    Happy holiday!

    December 8, 2009 7:37 am
  • 10
    Elizabeth said:

    Oh my, this looks lovely. I am trying my best to warm up to gin and tonic but with little success. But this I could do. Thanks for the recipe!

    December 8, 2009 11:27 am
  • 11
    Barbara said:

    My oh my. Doesn’t that look lovely? I prefer Bombay too. There’s a flowery sweetness about Hendricks, although I do like it with tonic.

    December 8, 2009 1:34 pm
  • 12
    Nastassia said:

    What a perfect holiday cocktail and I like the idea of something light especially since there will be a lot of decadent dessert consumption come xmas. thanks for posting this recipe!

    December 9, 2009 12:05 am
  • 13
    Shari said:

    What a fun post! Cheers!
    And Happy Holidays!

    December 12, 2009 7:10 pm
  • 14

    […] Rosemary Gin Fizz by Sassy Radish – How can I not love this drink? Rosemary happens to be my favorite herb. In fact, Gin is one of my favorite drinks, and so is club soda. Quick what’s that? <Downs drink while you are not looking> […]

    December 13, 2009 8:23 am
  • 15
    Marilyn said:

    Just made these with my friends- big hit. I will certainly make them again! (maybe tomorrow!)

    December 14, 2009 7:19 pm
  • 16
    shayma said:

    gin and a herb like rosemary- it’s a fascinating combination. gin is one of my fave tipples- this would be a wonderful drink to serve guests at a holiday party- i have discovered that not everyone loves mulled wine, so this is where your drink would step in.

    December 16, 2009 7:23 pm
  • 17
    Jessie said:

    We had a dinne party tonight and I served this, it was fantastic! I will also be serving it at Christmas, but I think I’ll do it in a pitcher sans the sparkling water and let people add that to taste. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    December 18, 2009 11:41 pm
  • 18
    Misty said:

    Thanks for posting this! I made it last night, and it is festive and refreshing. I’ll be putting up a blog post in a few days, letting people know they have to come over here and get the recipe!

    December 19, 2009 6:09 pm
  • 19

    […] about in the 15 degree snow of Chicago) which is including these mushrooms, a little spice and a new cocktail.  Happy […]

    December 31, 2009 1:24 pm
  • 20

    What a refreshing drink! I can certainly see why your guest would be asking for seconds (or thirds)! :D

    Your blog is lovely! I’m so glad to have discovered it today. Happy New Year!

    January 1, 2010 9:59 am
  • 21

    It sounds like a great cocktail, but… The name fizz is misused, it needs an egg white in order to hold that mame

    September 1, 2010 3:43 pm
  • 22
    Radish said:

    Carlos – actually, that’s partly correct – a fizz requires carbonated water and an acid, like lemon juice. Addition of an egg white actually classifies it as “Silver” fizz. See here.

    September 1, 2010 3:47 pm
  • 23

    […] hour included the rosemary gin fizz, dates wrapped in bacon, and four or five different cheeses.  (I think I’ve reached a point […]

    January 27, 2011 10:37 pm
  • 24
    Katie said:

    I picked up the rosemary on my way home from work but otherwise had all the ingredients just sitting in my kitchen, thanks to my sister leaving a bottle of Bombay behind after a visit last weekend. Hot dang, these are tasty! Thanks so much for the recipe!

    ps – my boss is going to hate you tomorrow!

    December 8, 2011 3:18 pm
  • 25
    Ray Russ said:

    Loved the Rosemary Gin Fizz recipe. FYI, there’s a very easy and quick method that I use to infuse spirits with a certain taste/character. Take a whipped cream dispenser that uses NO2 (nitrous oxide) cartridges and fill ~ 3/4 full with plain, off the shelf liquor such as vodka or gin. Take sprigs of your rosemary, lemon or orange peel or even basil and place into the canister. Screw the top as required and ‘pop’ two cartridges of the NO2. The alcohol will become instantly infused with the taste of whatever you’ve chosen to place in the canister. The infusion tastes so much more natural than the big brand versions. Personally, I like doing this with bits of cucumber and watermelon for refreshing ‘adult’ beverages during the summer although you’ll likely have to strain the concoction at least once through some cheese cloth. Give it a try.

    December 8, 2011 3:42 pm
  • 26
    Radish said:

    Katie – please tell your boss I am genuinely sorry for the offense. Also, apologize to your liver for me, will ya? :)

    Ray – that is a cool idea. I just don’t have a whipped cream dispenser. I’m totally old-school and whip mine by hand, no less. I figure my forearm could use the work out, right?

    December 8, 2011 3:58 pm
  • 27

    […] Rosemary Gin Fizz […]

    December 8, 2011 4:11 pm
  • 28
    Sarah B said:

    I can’t wait to try this! For folks who prefer a less sweet version, try a rosemary gin and tonic. I buy a bottle of gin, throw in several sprigs of rosemary, and let them steep for at least a week before breaking back into gin. Of course, I omits the simple syrup and use lime instead of lemon, but that winter flavor from the rosemary is still right up in your nose with every sip. Yum!

    December 8, 2011 11:08 pm
  • 29
    Meghann said:

    Have you tried making a very large batch of this? Or, would you recommend making without the club soda as one of the readers suggested? It looks very yummy and I am very excited to serve at my open house on the 17th. Thanks!

    December 9, 2011 5:21 pm
  • 30
    Radish said:

    Maghann – I’ve made large batches of moving parts and then made individual drinks, however, i don’t see why you can’t just make a huge thing of it and throw it in a punch bowl.

    December 9, 2011 5:23 pm
  • 31
    Diane said:

    I was wondering if the gin I have on hand will work…it’s tangueray rangpur which has a lime flavoring. Since you add lemon juice, perhaps this won’t clash? I may have to do an experimental taste-test before serving it…

    December 10, 2011 9:37 am
  • 32
    Radish said:

    Diane – that should work. I think Hendricks is the only one that tastes odd to me.

    December 10, 2011 9:57 am
  • 33

    […] of this rosemary concoction on two separate occasions. Once on  Joy the Baker‘s blog, and here. It was a calling. An omen. A sign that I needed, and I wanted to make this drink. I love love love […]

    December 10, 2011 10:53 am
  • 34
    Ali said:

    I just made a mocktail version of this- same recipe, minus the gin- and can heartily recommend it. I am always looking for sharp/grown-up flavoured fancy drink recipes that don’t need the alcoholic kick, and this rosemary syrup-lemon juice-fizzy water combo is a perfect addition to the repertoire! Thanks.

    December 10, 2011 11:56 am
  • 35

    OMG – what an insanely good idea. Gin and rosemary has got to be a marriage made in heaven. Wouldn’t give you a thank you for egg-nog (not that I’ve ever tried egg-nog, but just the thought of it nearly makes me barf), but this I’m pretty sure I could drink by the bucketful.
    Sue :-)

    December 11, 2011 2:50 am
  • 36
    Radish said:

    Couscous – i have to say, eggnog is one of my favorite things! :)

    December 11, 2011 8:39 am
  • 37

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    December 21, 2011 1:23 am
  • 38

    […] love a nice bubbly rosemary gin fizz, recipe here. if you like gin and rosemary and fun wintery drinks, i think you’ll love it […]

    December 22, 2011 6:19 am
  • 39

    Thank you, dear readers, thank you.

    February 13, 2012 11:47 am
  • 40

    […] way – rosemary is often in my line of sight, and I’m always looking for ways to use it. This cocktail caught my attention a couple weeks back, and I’ve been making my own citrus-spiked […]

    March 1, 2012 4:23 am
  • 41
    Jill said:

    I’m really excited about this one… I’m in Australia where it’s generally WARM during Christmas, and it sounds mega-refreshing.

    March 31, 2012 2:25 am
  • 42

    […] brings us to today’s first rosemary cocktail*. I spied this Rosemary Gin Fizz a few months back, but it got shuffled lower in my to-do list due to the accompanying write-up […]

    July 30, 2012 4:19 pm
  • 43

    […] bag full of lumpy, aromatic homegrown lemons from her tree. I juiced part of this bounty for cocktails, and the lemons were so bracing and aromatic I wondered if I could stash the hollowed-out rinds in […]

    August 8, 2012 12:13 am
  • 44

    […] Day libation. One I’m sure I’ll use often, well, at least as is required. This sassy cocktail, try it and remember: Stirred, definitely NOT Shakened. This entry was posted in cocktail […]

    November 25, 2012 11:31 pm
  • 45

    […] The Rosemary Gin Fizz adapted from the Sassy Radish […]

    December 5, 2012 3:02 pm
  • 46

    […] used some rosemary simple syrup because I had quite a bit left after our holiday party when we made Rosemary Gin Fizzes. My fridge is a graveyard for strange flavor experiments…many of which I had forgotten about […]

    December 31, 2012 11:36 pm
  • 47
    Maria said:

    Looks great, I just had to try it. But… are you sure about the amounts? It tastes almost nothing but lemon?!? I trippled the amount of rosemary syrup in my drink and well, then it was better.

    And next time I will try making the syrup 50/50 water and sugar.

    February 1, 2013 11:48 am
  • 48
    olga said:

    Maria – I like this drink as is, but the amounts are pretty much exact from Food & Wine, where I got the recipe. Of course, you should make the drink exactly as you like it!!

    February 1, 2013 12:51 pm
  • 49

    […] Rosemary Gin Fizz from Sassy Radish […]

    March 1, 2013 2:35 pm
  • 50

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    December 4, 2013 2:47 pm
  • 51

    Delicious ! I love the smell of rosemary, such a nice blend
    Thanks for sharing

    December 30, 2013 6:58 pm
  • 52

    […] gin fizz Image by sassyradish Rosemary Gin Fizz on […]

    January 10, 2014 11:44 am
  • 53
    Mary G. said:

    In search of something along these lines tonight – thanks for the recipe. My favorite bar had recently created something similar for me, and I appreciate knowing how to make rosemary syrup. Very tasty.

    January 11, 2014 9:11 pm
  • 54

    […] way – rosemary is often in my line of sight, and I’m always looking for ways to use it. This cocktail caught my attention a couple weeks back, and I’ve been making my own citrus-spiked […]

    June 16, 2014 6:16 am
  • 55

    […] way – rosemary is often in my line of sight, and I’m always looking for ways to use it. This cocktail caught my attention a couple weeks back, and I’ve been making my own citrus-spiked […]

    September 18, 2014 2:40 pm
  • 56

    […] Image: Sassy Radish […]

    March 25, 2015 2:53 pm
  • 57

    […] He just got home from a wild night so the time difference is perfect. We’re both drinking rosemary gin fizzes and wearing the exact same rick owens long sleeve tee. He’s so pleased that his bottle of wine […]

    November 12, 2015 1:40 pm
  • 58

    […] Rosemary Gin Fizz While gin might not seem inherantly festive, this fizzy drink is definitely worthy of highlighting at any New Year Eve party. […]

    December 30, 2015 6:50 pm
  • 59

    […] Rosemary Gin Fizz by Sassy Radish – How can I not love this drink? Rosemary happens to be my favorite herb. In fact, Gin is one of my favorite drinks, and so is club soda. Quick what’s that? <Downs drink while you are not looking> […]

    May 30, 2016 2:06 am
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