The perfect holiday drink (and cocktail gift)

There’s nothing like a craft cocktail around the holidays. I just love coming up with new recipes and serving them to my family and friends. My cookies are always the star of the show — but my cocktails come in a close second.

One of my new favorite holiday drinks? This Cinnamon Rosemary Maple Old Fashioned. Homemade simple syrup makes this a top-tier drink—and it’s so much fun to  bottle up the extra for giving away as gifts. 


Want to step it up even more? Pair the homemade syrup with a bottle of your favorite bourbon. I promise, your friends will not be disappointed. 

How to make an infused Cinnamon Rosemary Simple Syrup

Simple syrups are, as the name implies, simple to make. With equal parts sugar and water, all you need to do to make your syrup unique is add some flavorings. Fresh herbs, spices, and even fruits like Meyer lemons or oranges work wonderfully for flavoring your custom simple syrup. I like to add a hint of maple syrup to my blend, so I use ¾ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of pure maple syrup to 1 cup of water. 

After the syrup is fully infused with flavor, I strain out the added ingredients. After transferring the syrup into sterilized bottles and letting it cool, you can throw in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and some cinnamon sticks—they look so pretty and add extra flavor down the line. Finish it off with a beautiful ribbon around the bottle neck for an unforgettably delicious gift! 

I took a classic Old Fashioned and made it my own by adding the homemade simple syrup to my favorite bourbon and topping it off a splash of bitters. If you do give your homemade syrup out as holiday gifts, remember to include the Old Fashioned recipe so your friends can make their own at home!

Yield: Makes one cocktail
Cinnamon Maple Old Fashioned Recipe

Cinnamon Maple Old Fashioned Recipe


  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon rosemary maple simple syrup
  • 3 dashes angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces bourbon or brandy
  • For the garnish: Sprig of fresh rosemary, cinnamon stick, and orange peel


  1. Place the simple syrup and bitters in a rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes, add the bourbon, and gently stir to combine. Garnish with a rosemary sprig, cinnamon stick, and a bit of fresh orange peel.
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December 22, 2021 — Mary DiSomma