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SPARKLING CHRISTMAS TREE COCKTAIL


FOR THE SPARKLING BRANCHES: 1 cup sugar, divided 1/2 cup water

Fresh rosemary sprigs

Fresh cranberries

FOR THE COCKTAILS:

1/2 cup gin

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon simple syrup

Club soda Sliced lime for garnish, if desired How To Make: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the simple syrup cool slightly.

While the simple syrup is cooling, start to create the sparkling branches. Trim your rosemary sprigs1-inch longer than the width of your cocktail glasses. Remove and throw away some of the lower leaves, leaving the main stem intact. Using a toothpick, poke a small hole all the way through the cranberries. Then thread two cranberries onto each rosemary stem.

Pour the cooled simple syrup into a bowl. Place the assembled branches in the simple syrup, turning them to coat. Then working with one branch at a time, remove it from the simple syrup and gently shake off any excess liquid. Hold the branch over your sink or a bowl and sprinkle it lightly with a small amount of the remaining sugar, turning the branch as you sprinkle the sugar so it coats all sides evenly. Place the sparkling branch on plate and set aside. Continue working until all the branches have been coated. Reserve some of the simple syrup for making the cocktails.

To make the cocktails, add the gin, cranberry juice, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously to chill. Then strain into two glasses with fresh ice. Top with club soda, stirring gently to combine. Garnish with a slice of lime and a sparkling branch.

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