Vanilla rosemary vodka spritz

There’s a lot to celebrate today!  Not only are we smack dab in that cookies and cocktails time of year (where every day feels sort of celebratory), but I’m especially happy to tell you that I didn’t die over the past semester.  Yesterday I turned in my dissertation proposal, which means that I’m now free of classes and could feasibly go on to write my dissertation from a Parisian cafe or a Caribbean beach town (or, more likely, my desk in Oakland…but it’s nice to dream).  Also, I’m really proud to announce (albeit a bit late — this happened, like, a month ago), that we’ve joined up with Gojee Drinks.  You can now find our recipes mixed in with others from some incredibly inspiring drink bloggers over on Gojee’s website.  So, a big cheers all around!

Today we’re going to celebrate with this vanilla rosemary cocktail.  Vanilla feels pleasantly wintery without being too heavy, especially when it’s mixed with herbs (or citrus, but let’s do that another day).  So, I’ve been heading out to our badly neglected herb garden, scavenging herbs, and then making simple syrups.

For the vanilla, it would be entirely wonderful and yummy to use a real vanilla pod, but I’ve been cheating and using vanilla bean paste, which is a vanilla extract that’s thick with ground up vanilla beans.  It’s kinda expensive initially (I found a 4 oz bottle for $8 in the bulk section at my local grocery store), but seems to last forever.  You can certainly use vanilla extract, but I think the flavor is more authentically vanilla with the paste (and of course, would probably be even better with a real pod).  By the way, if you’re substituting, 1 t vanilla paste = 1 t vanilla extract = 1 vanilla pod.

Another variation might be to serve these drinks in sugar rimmed champagne flutes.  Maybe they would look like a platter of icicles?

Vanilla rosemary vodka spritz
Makes one drink

  • 0.5 oz vanilla rosemary simple syrup *
  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 3 oz club soda
  • ice
  • optional rosemary sprig for garnish
  • optional sugar for rimming glass

With your finger, a towel or a brush, cover the rim of your glass with a bit of the simple syrup.  Next, sprinkle some sugar on a plate and dip the rim of your glass in the sugar (like we did with the cheladas way back when).  Add ice to the glass.

In a shaker or a separate glass, stir together the simple syrup, vodka and club soda.  Pour it into your glass and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

* Vanilla rosemary simple syrup

Makes 2 oz — or enough for 4 drinks

  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 c natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 drops vanilla bean paste

Combine rosemary, sugar and water in a small point.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add vanilla.  Strain to remove rosemary.