Give thanks, Bar Talk is back |

Give thanks, Bar Talk is back

Cranberry Rosemary Fizz
Rose Anna Laudicina/Aspen Times Weekly

What are you giving thanks for this Thanksgiving? I’m giving thanks for Bar Talk returning to the Aspen Times Weekly after a lengthy, pandemic-induced hiatus.

In Bar Talk you’ll find cocktail spotlights and recipes from local bars and restaurants, bar tool reviews, Q&A’s with local bartenders and more each week, brought to you by me, Rose, who has never actually worked behind a bar but enjoys how a good drink can open people up and bring them together.

For this Thanksgiving-themed article, I’m sharing a cocktail recipe that you can make at home and even batch ahead of any dinner party you’re attending or hosting. Because unlike how my family celebrated growing up – sans home-cooked turkey and instead enjoying a nice meal out at a restaurant – this holiday, for most, seems to center around time spent at home.

In researching fall cocktail flavors that would pair well with a bountiful holiday meal, many recipes recommended whiskey/bourbon in drinks with warm and spiced flavors.

I played around with those flavors, but ultimately found that I was looking for something a bit lighter and tart to offset the rich food. I landed on crafting a cocktail with my preferred spirit, gin, and some familiar Turkey Day flavors.

This Cranberry Rosemary Fizz was inspired by a drink recipe for a Cranberry Thyme Spritz from Half-Baked Harvest (created and run by Tieghan Gerard in Summit County), more specifically, the cranberry syrup she makes for the drink.

I modified the syrup recipe slightly, using rosemary instead of thyme, adding orange peel, etc., and then strayed from her recipe path for the rest of the drink, swapping vodka for gin, using a variety of citrus, etc.

Cheers, to an upcoming winter, a new season of Bar Talk and all the drinks and good times that are yet to come!

Cranberry Rosemary Fizz

Cranberry Rosemary Fizz

*Measurements for one cocktail

1 oz gin

½ oz lemon juice

½ oz orange juice

3 teaspoons cranberry syrup

Ginger beer

Rosemary, orange and cranberries for garnish

Add 1 oz of gin, ½ oz of lemon juice, ½ oz fresh orange juice, 3 teaspoons of cranberry syrup and 1- 1½ teaspoons of the reserved cranberries from the syrup to the glass (this last step is optional, do not add if you don’t want cranberry pieces floating in your drink), stir to combine. Add some ice to the glass, stir again and then top off your glass with ginger beer (I used Fever Tree ginger beer) and garnish with a little sprig of rosemary, an orange twist and extra cranberries for that festive flair. If you’re batching this drink, do not add the ginger beer until you are ready to serve each drink, ideally adding it to each drink, not the whole batch.

Cranberry Syrup

*Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest’s cranberry syrup from the Cranberry Thyme Spritz recipe

1 tablespoon honey

¾ cup water

2 small handfuls of fresh cranberries

1 sprig of rosemary

2 orange peel strips

In a small saucepan on medium heat combine ¾ cup of water with 2 handfuls of fresh cranberries, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 sprig of rosemary and 2 strips of orange peel. Heat until the mixture comes to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes, the cranberries will start to burst. Remove from heat and let cool, remove the rosemary, strain out the liquid and reserve some of the bursts cranberries to add to drink.

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