Easy and impressive with incredible flavor and aroma, this rosemary vodka gimlet is the perfect holiday cocktail. Made with a rosemary infused simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and premium vodka, this beautiful cocktail is a simple and sophisticated seasonal drink.
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When I was in college, my go-to drink with my besties was often a Ketel One vodka gimlet. I know.
We of course made it with Rose’s lime juice, and it was sickeningly sweet with a lovely green tinge. These days I think “vomit”, but back then? We felt like hot shit.
In the ensuring years, my tastes have become arguably more sophisticated. This rosemary vodka gimlet is a grown-up, way better tasting homage to my first experimentations with craft cocktails.
It’s made with rosemary infused simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and naturally, Ketel One vodka (or your elixir of choice). With the perfect balance of sweet and sour and a punch of earthiness, this is peak me, cocktail-style.
How to Make Rosemary Infused Simple Syrup
This rosemary simple syrup is easy and straightforward, but it does take some advance planning. Be sure to let the rosemary steep for a few hours for best flavor, and don’t forget to bruise the leaves a bit to release some of the herb’s natural oils.
Combine one cup of sugar and half a cup of water in a small sauce pot and place over high heat. Whisk frequently until the sugar dissolves completely into the water, the simple sugar turns clear, and the water comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
Gently crushed two sprigs of rosemary in your hands (I twist and pinch the leaves with my fingers to bruise them and help release the natural oils). Place the crushed rosemary into the simple syrup, stir, and set aside to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours, and up to 4. Less time will give you a more subtle infusion, more time will give a more intense one.
Strain the rosemary from the simple syrup, and it’s ready to use! You can store the rosemary simple syrup in the fridge for up to a month.
How to Make a Rosemary Vodka Gimlet
This rosemary vodka gimlet is a lovely combination of sweet and sour with an earthy essence and wonderful herbal aroma. It truly smells divine. I prefer vodka in this cocktail because I think the juniper berries in gin would overwhelmingly compete with the delicate rosemary notes, but feel free to experiment!
These days I like my vodka gimlets served chilled, straight up, in a coupe glass, but I’ve also included instructions below for serving over the rocks with a fizzy finish. However you like your finished drink, it all starts out the same.
Combine two ounces of vodka, with half an ounce of lime juice, and three-quarters an ounce of rosemary simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice. Stir with a cocktail spoon until condensation forms on the outside of the cocktail shaker.
Place the cap onto the cocktail shaker, then pour into a coupe glass or martini glass. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary to feel fancy AF and sip away!
If you like your cocktails over ice, pour the same recipe into a rocks glass filled with ice, then top with a splash of soda water and garnish with rosemary.
Ingredients and Variations
- Selecting Spirits: please, for the love of all things festive, spring for a good quality vodka. The flavor of the vodka is as important as every other ingredient in this cocktail, as there are so few. A cheap vodka will take astringent and give you a wicked hang-over to boot. Yuck. We like Ketel One, Titos, and Hangar 1. If gin is more your style, we like Hendricks, Tanqueray, and the locally distilled Green Hat Gin.
- Lime Juice: fresh lime juice is a must. Please do not use Rose’s or similar, which is lime flavored simple syrup – it kinda defeats the purpose.
- Rosemary: purchase the freshest rosemary you can get your hands on. It should be very aromatic with bright green leaves and minimal spots or discoloration.
- Scale it up: this makes a terrific large-batch cocktail recipe, serving about 10. Double the simple syrup recipe, then combine that with 2.5 cups of vodka and 5 ounces lime juice in a large pitcher. Stir, then chill in the fridge overnight. Set the pitcher into a bucket of ice alongside a station with coupe glasses and a small bowl of rosemary sprigs. Guests can then pour a cocktail, garnish, and sip in style.
More Festive Holiday Cocktails
If you love craft cocktails and the holidays, you’re in the right place! Check out these other seasonal sips:
- Cranberry Moscow Mule
- Bourbon Sour Blood Orange Cocktail
- Apple Cider Hot Toddy
- Black Cherry Manhattan
- Rosemary Bourbon Cocktail with Honey Simple Syrup
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Rosemary Vodka GimletPrint Recipe Rate This Recipe Pin Recipe
- Cocktail Shaker
- Coupe Glass
- Small Pot
Rosemary Simple Syrup
- 1 c sugar
- 1/2 c water
- 2 sprigs rosemary, lightly crushed
- 2 oz vodka
- 3/4 oz rosemary simple syrup
- 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- ice, as needed
- soda water, optional
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig, for garnish
- Make the rosemary simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small pot over high heat, whisking constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup turns clear. Continue to heat until the syrup comes to a boil, then remove from heat. Gently crush the rosemary sprigs between your fingers, then to the simple syrup and stir. Steep at room temperature at least 2 hours, and up to four. Makes approximately 1/2 cup simple syrup; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to a month.
- To serve straight up: combine the vodka, lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Stir until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Cover the shaker and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
- To serve on the rocks: combine the vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice. Stir until condensation forms on the outside of the shaker. Fill a rocks glass with ice, then pour the cocktail over the ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with a rosemary sprig.
- To make a large batch (serves about 10): make a double batch of simple syrup. Combine 2.5 cups vodka, 1 cup simple syrup, and 5 ounces lime juice in a pitcher. Chill at least 4 hours, or until throughly chilled. Place the pitcher into a larger container, then fill container with ice (like a bucket). Set out coupe glasses and fresh rosemary sprigs and allow guests to self-serve cocktails into the glasses, or pour over ice topped with soda water.