While some herbs and spices might be considered trendy, there is no denying that rosemary is one herb that stands the test of time. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, but the temperate climes of the 100 Mile Coast have also provided a place to flourish to this hardy member of the mint family.
If you venture out into the Historic District of Downtown Savannah, you’ll spot rosemary tucked into window boxes and dominating flower boxes along weathered sidewalks. The rosemary plant is an attractive evergreen and can be easily shaped. Besides having pretty blossoms, the rosemary plant also has a pleasant smell.
Perhaps one of the best things about rosemary is its versatility. The ease of growing the plant is appealing to horticulturists new and old alike. But a green thumb is not necessary to appreciate all of the uses of this herb. Rosemary is used in a variety of cosmetic and culinary applications.
Rosemary essential oil is believed to aid any number of maladies. Common uses of rosemary essential oil include thickening hair, improving memory function, and aiding with digestion. The fragrance of rosemary is used in household products such as shampoos, soaps, and candles.
Rosemary is also widely used as a flavor-enhancing herb in both food and beverages. With warmer weather very nearly upon us here in the Lowcountry, we are always looking to expand our recipes with local ingredients that are easily found here in Savannah. So of course, this being Savannah, when we started thinking about using Rosemary in the kitchen, we immediately thought about a rosemary cocktail.
We contacted our good friend — and cocktail and spirits expert — Jason Owenby, over at Alley Cat Lounge. He happily recommended a gin and rosemary cocktail using a Rosemary simple syrup you can make easily at home.
The syrup requires minimum effort to make, but the payoff is worth it, since this syrup will elevate any cocktail without the hassle of muddling or straining your cocktails. Best of all, the rosemary syrup lends an aromatic, woodsy flavor that is evocative of the South. So, cheers!
Rosemary Gin Fizz
It’s super simple.
2 oz London dry gin like beefeater
.75 oz rosemary syrup (recipe follows)
.75 to 1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Cold soda water
Add the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Short shake everything and strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass, and add soda.
Garnish with fresh blueberries and a rosemary sprig
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Bring 1 cup of water, 10-12 long stalks of rosemary and one 1 cup of white sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Make sure that the stalks stay totally submerged. Cover and let sit for up to 12 hours, but at least for 2 hours. Strain the mixture before using. Refrigerate any extra syrup for up to two weeks. But we cannot imagine it will last long!