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For our Snowchella holiday party this past weekend, I made a lot of food and tried some delicious new recipes that I’ll be sharing on the blog. But first, I wanted to let you in on my favorite drink recipe and party standby, this spin on the Greyhound, adapted from our bartender friend Karl’s recipe:

2 oz vodka

2 oz rosemary simple syrup

4 oz grapefruit juice

4 oz sparkling water

I made a huge batch of it for my favorite drink dispenser, and had to refill it three times it went so quickly. The twist that makes this drink so special is the homemade rosemary simple syrup, and it could not be easier to cook, and makes for a perfect homemade holiday gift.

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{Gift supplies: Holiday cards, gift tags, ribbon and a pretty pen}

The best version of this syrup I’ve found was on the kitchn blog, from a May 2007 issue of Southern Living. Essentially, the recipe calls for equal parts water and sugar and 4 fresh rosemary sprig per cup of each. But for the purposes of this blog and making a batch large enough to give as gifts, here are the amounts I recommend:

8 cups sugar

8 cups water

32 fresh rosemary sprigs {est. 6 packages from the store}

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Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir slowly and consistently until it boils. Boil for 1 minute (or longer if the sugar still hasn’t dissolved – boil until it does). Remove from heat, cover and let it steep for at least 2 hours (I like to put the pan in the fridge and let it steep overnight to really let the flavors soak in). If you’re making it the day-of, give yourself 4 hours to chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, pour syrup through a wire-mesh strainer into airtight containers (or straight into your glass)! Store syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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The recipe above made enough syrup for 10 glass flasks (17 oz size). I wrote my favorite cocktail recipe out on a gift tag, tied it around the syrup with ribbon and paired it with a mini Crystal Head Vodka. The syrup is also great for non-alcoholic drinks; you can make a virgin spin on the Greyhound without vodka, or even just a rosemary soda by mixing the syrup with sparkling water. Tony and I also like to mix it with tea, and have even tried it on pancakes (amazing). It’s a simple gift to make with a homemade touch, and I like to keep a few extra on hand, just in case we need a last-minute present (which always seems to happen around the holidays)! Worse comes to worse, you get to drink the leftovers…


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