There is something to be said about the South. Cocktails are king. I’ve got a crush on this one. It came from a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner we had on Pawley’s Island at the home of Peter Roy, longtime friend and culinary adventurer. In the cool of the late afternoon after cooking for most of the day, we sat on the veranda and watched the boats float by on the Inter-coastal waterway just across the marshes.

Cranberries are sour, therefore this aromatic simple syrup balances nicely. A sprig of rosemary takes us back to the hills of Tuscany, where the wood-fired ovens of La Cucina al Focolare are roasting some mighty fine wild game, just like the wilds of South Carolina. It’s a festive drink, fit for a beau and belle.

1 ounce cranberry spice simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces Hat Trick Botanical Gin
Rosemary sprig for garnish
Cranberries for garnish
Orange peel for garnish

Cranberry Spice Simple Syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1 (2 inch long) piece of orange peel (no pith)
10 cranberries
1 cup sugar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary


Fill a cocktail tin halfway with ice. Add simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin, then shake well for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over a few cubes of ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig, skewered cranberries, and orange peel.

Cranberry Spice Simple Syrup

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine cinnamon, orange peel, cranberries, and one cup water. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Strain through a mesh strainer into a jar or lidded container, then add sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Add rosemary and allow to cool completely. Remove rosemary before serving. Syrup can be stored in refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.

Recipe by: Scott Blackwell of High Wire Distillery in Charleston, South Carolina

Thirsty for More?

Check out this recipe for another alcoholic libation, the dreamy Omar Sharif cocktail inspired by our Culinary Adventure in Morocco