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!
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.