Blue Cheese Terrine with Flatbread Crackers and a Rosemary & Apple Cocktail
Time is a funny thing. We stay busy to help fill our days and then wonder why in the blink of an eye it went from June to December and another year is nearly gone. I used to gauge time largely on the visual changes in seasons, which can be very drastic in Minnesota. I find that in Tokyo it is not so easy to do this.
However, this past year I have started to pick up on the subtle changes that come with summer, fall and winter in Japan. From the beautiful Japanese maple leaves so the cool, crisp air, Japan tells me ever so slightly that there is in fact a new season approaching. It is more like a gentle nudge rather than a smack on the face. Minnesota is definitely a smack in the face.
The cocktail pairing for today’s post is simple and the flavors are very fitting for this time of year. The rosemary brings a comforting and clean flavor while the apple juice helps to tone down this strong herb, lending a gentle and slightly tart sweetness. I used honey in the simple syrup so as not to make the drink overly sweet. Since the apple juice is already sweet, you want to make sure the flavor of the simple syrup enhances the rosemary flavor and not the sugar.
The scent and taste of this cocktail is the essence of the holidays. Simple, heart-warming, and festive. And of course it pairs beautifully with Debi’s hors d’oeuvres: Blue Cheese Terrine with Flatbread Crackers. Click here for her recipe.
Rosemary and Apple Cocktail
Makes 12 Cocktails
24 oz. gin
24 oz. apple juice or apple cider (room temperature)
4 tablespoons Rosemary Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
Rosemary sprigs for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine the apple juice and cooled simple syrup. Stir until the simple syrup is dissolved. Add the gin and stir gently to combine. Fill 6 cocktail glasses with ice and fill with the mixed drink. Garnish each drink with one rosemary sprig.
Rosemary Simple Syrup
Makes about 1/3 cup
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
In a small, heavy saucepan, add the honey, water and rosemary. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to simmer for about 3-5 minutes, depending on how strong you want the rosemary flavor to be.
Strain the hot syrup into a small glass bowl and allow to cool before storing or using. The syrup can be tightly sealed and kept in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.