With less than a week left before Christmas, I think we could all use a cocktail.
Are you all ready? Most years, I’m annoyingly prepared, with all my presents purchased and wrapped practically before the Thanksgiving dinner plates are cleared. As soon as December hits, every nook and cranny of the house is decorated in glittery shades of red, green, silver and gold, mixed with lots of fresh greenery, and by the time Christmas rolls around, I’m generally pretty relaxed.
This year, the holidays haven’t been so picture perfect. There are still presents to buy, absolutely nothing is wrapped, and I’m trying to cram approximately forty three hours worth of to-do list items into the next… two hours.
BUT! Our holiday journey starts today, and we’re headed south – to Oregon then Santa Barbara – to visit both sides of the family for Christmas, and I can’t week for a week of serious, unplugged time off to truly celebrate.
Festive cocktails and endless Christmas cookies are in sight!
First up, a fun cocktail project with Absolut. The story goes that Andy Warhol, inspired by the classic Absolut vodka bottle, proclaimed “I love the bottle, I want to do something…,” and in 1986 became the first artist – in a long line of cutting edge creatives – to create original artwork for the brand, collaborating on an iconic ad campaign. This holiday season, Absolut has released a limited edition Warhol bottle, which pays homage to Warhol’s signature pop art style and his original Absolut designs.
To create some holiday pop of my own, I used the playful, colorful vibe of the Warhol bottle as inspiration for a poppy vodka cocktail built upon fresh, seasonal flavors. For me, a great cocktail starts with quality booze (a given), but really comes alive with fresh fruit juice, homemade simple syrups and herbs. During the winter, that often means choosing vibrant, tart cranberries, tangerines, or jewel-like pomegranates, which I love to pair with fresh herb syrups and garnishes, generally rosemary or mint.
This rosemary-infused citrus and cranberry cocktail sings with seasonal flavor, and the punchy crimson color adds a fun holiday pop to a Christmas cocktail party spread. Wouldn’t that bottle make a fun hostess gift? You can learn more about the Absolut-Warhol collaboration, find other holiday cocktail recipes, and even bring home your very own Warhol here.
I’ll be checking in again before Christmas, but until then, I hope your days are delicious, as stress-free as possible, and full of good cheer! (Have a cocktail on me!) Happy weekend!
p.s. There’s still time to enter my sweet little gourmet chocolate giveaway! I can’t wait to send this package of goodness to one of you!
This post is sponsored by Absolut Vodka. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Fork Knife Swoon!Print
- 2 parts vodka
- 1-2 parts rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 parts fresh tangerine or orange juice
- 3 parts cranberry juice (look for 100% juice, no sugar added)
- ice/sugared cranberries/fresh rosemary sprigs/orange slices for serving/garnish
Rosemary Simple Syrup (makes 1 cup)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2-3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, for rolling
Make the Rosemary Simple Syrup
- Heat the water and sugar in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring just to a boil, then remove from the heat, add the rosemary, and steep for up to an hour. Remove the rosemary before serving. Can be made in advance, and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Heat the water and sugar in a medium sauce pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring just to a boil, then add the cranberries and stir until completely coated. Remove from the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the cranberries to the baking rack to cool for about an hour. Try to keep the cranberries spaced apart so that they don’t stick together, which will cause the sugar coating to clump.
- Add the sugar to a shallow bowl or dish, and working in batches, roll the cranberries in sugar, coating completely, then transfer to a clean container to completely dry, up to an hour.
Make your cocktails
- Fill a highball glass with ice. Add the vodka, rosemary simple syrup (to taste) and fruit juices. Stir to combine. Optionally, for some sparkle and fizz, top with club soda. Garnish with sugared cranberries and/or a sprig of rosemary. Serve and enjoy the holidays!