Enjoy this spicy twist on one of the most venerable drinks in the cocktail kingdom. Homemade rosemary spiced simple syrup replaces the traditional sugar cube, and when combined with toe-warming bourbon, citrus juices, and a dash of orange bitters, you have the perfect libation for cocktails by the fire.




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Rosemary Spiced Bourbon Old-Fashioned

Homemade rosemary spiced simple syrup replaces the traditional sugar cube in this toe-warming twist on an Old-Fashioned.  With citrus juices and a dash of orange bitters, the sweetness is delightfully well-balanced. 

  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x



For the syrup:

  • 100 g or ½ c granulated sugar
  • 118 ml or 4 oz water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1-inch fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • Peeled zest of 1 orange

For the drink:

  • 60 ml or 2 oz bourbon
  • 30 ml or 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 30 ml or 1 oz orange or clementine juice
  • 12 dashes of orange bitters
  • 3060 ml or 12 oz Rosemary Spiced Simple Syrup


To make the Rosemary Spiced Simple Syrup:

  1. In a medium pot over high heat, bring the sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla pod and ginger to a boil. Simmer for 2–3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the rosemary and orange zest. Let cool; strain
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and orange bitters and Rosemary Spiced Simple Syrup. Shake and strain into a glass. Garnish with an orange slice and rosemary, if desired. 
  • Author: Helen Kain