The Mistletoe Kiss: A holiday drink for the ages with vodka, lemon juice, and a special and insanely easy simple syrup that ties the whole drink together.
You guys! I have such an exciting recipe for you today!
IT’S A COCKTAIL RECIPE!!
Can you even believe it?? The last time I posted a cocktail recipe was in 2010.
ELEVEN years ago! Where’s that embarrassed wide-eyed emoji when you need it?
They were a delicious combination of champagne, cranberry and lime juices with fresh cranberries floating on top.
One of my favorite drinks to this day is a simple vodka-cranberry and those bellinis were pretty similar. Except that instead of the bite of vodka, you get a bubbly mouthful of champagne. Mmmmm!
And while we’re on the topic of vodka, let me tell you that I probably will never turn down a drink with vodka in it. I don’t drink vodka often – gin is my actual preference when it comes to spirits – but I love vodka because it’s sort of like the blank palate of the drink world.
It goes so well with lots of flavors, especially herbs!
Enter The Mistletoe Kiss. And pucker up, friends!
Because this drink is a delightful mixture of vodka, club soda, lemon juice, and my new secret weapon: rosemary simple syrup.
What You Need for a Mistletoe Kiss
First you’ll need a flavor base and that’s the rosemary simple syrup. The simple syrup is just what it sounds like: simple to make with equal parts of water and sugar that you’ll boil for 5 minutes. Then you’ll drop a sprig of fresh rosemary in and this will infuse the sugar water with loads of herby flavor.
Once cooled, you’ll mix the simple syrup with vodka and lemon juice. Once in the ice-filled glass, pour in some bubbly club soda.
Then, float some fresh cranberries on top and add a sprig of rosemary to stir it all up, and you’ve got yourself a perfect holiday drink.
There’s just enough lemon juice in these mistletoe kiss drinks to make you pucker up to your Christmas love without being like, “Woah! Too much lemon!”
And the rosemary simple syrup beautifully balances the tart lemon and bite of the vodka. It gives the drink a refreshing sweet and herbal note and really brings it home to remind you that it’s the holidays.
Wondering How to Make a Large Batch of Mistletoe Kiss Drinks?
If you’re having a crowd for a tree trimming party or holiday party this season, you’re going to want to make a large batch of these mistletoe kiss drinks. And it’s SO simple to do!
- First, you’re going to make a batch of the rosemary simple syrup. It’s easy! Boil equal parts of sugar and water for 5 minutes then toss in a sprig of rosemary to steep and release its flavor into the syrup. Cool completely. You can make this up to 2 weeks in advance too!
- Then, ready a pitcher. Pour in the vodka, lemon juice, rosemary simple syrup and stir well.
- Pour the drinks into ice-filled rocks glasses – only 3/4 of the way full though. You need room for the club soda.
- Top the drink off with club soda, a few cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary to use as a stirrer.
You can certainly prepare the drink mixture in the pitcher a few hours in advance of your party and keep it in the fridge until your guests arrive.
This will ensure the mistletoe kisses are super cold and will majorly simplify your life during the party when you would prefer to be mingling and eating rather than pouring individual drinks.
What to Serve with The Mistletoe Kiss
And while we’re on the topic of parties, let’s talk for a quick minute about some excellent appetizers you can serve with these mistletoe kiss holiday drinks at your next party.
Baked brie has always and will always be my go-to holiday party appetizer and my baked brie with fig jam and honey is a stunning and easy one to delight your guests.
I also adore a really nice plate of cheese and crackers. It doesn’t have to be a big to-do of a cheese platter, though if you want to go in that direction, I’ve got a fantastic tutorial for how to assemble a charcuterie board on my other blog, Two Cousins Haul it All.
If you’re into making homemade crackers for a spread like that, I really love to make homemade wheat thins, which I serve with cranberry Stilton during the holidays. These Parmesan thyme crackers would be excellent too!
And maybe I’ll throw in a hot crab dip if I have a few extra minutes to prepare one.
Smoked salmon spread is always an easy appetizer that will instantly fancify your party.
And in my opinion, no holiday party would be complete without some baked fontina with crusty bread, bacon wrapped dates with cranberry Stilton, sausage stuffed mushrooms and a baked brie with fig jam and honey.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go crack open that bottle of vodka, grab the mistletoe, and pucker up, my friends!
You basically need all of them in your life.
For the rosemary simple syrup*:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 sprig rosemary
For a small batch:
- 6 oz vodka (I love Tito's)
- 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 oz rosemary simple syrup
- Club soda
- Handful of fresh cranberries (whole frozen berries are ok)
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
For a large batch:
- 30 oz vodka (3 ¾ cups or approx 1 liter from which you'll have a couple ounces leftover)
- 5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 10 oz (1 ¼ cups) rosemary simple syrup (triple the recipe above)
- 1 liter club soda
- ½ bag of fresh cranberries (whole frozen berries are ok)
- 10 sprigs of rosemary
To make the rosemary simple syrup: Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes then remove from the heat and drop in the sprig of rosemary. Allow the rosemary to steep for about 15 minutes and then discard the rosemary. Pour the simple syrup into a glass jar or bottle, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate.
To make a small batch: Pour vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a drink shaker filled with ice. Cover and shake well to blend. Divide drink mix between 2 rocks glasses filled with ice, straining the ice from the shaker as you pour. You'll only want to fill the glasses ¾-full. Top with club soda and a few cranberries for garnish. Add a sprig of rosemary to use as a stirrer.
To make a large batch: Pour vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a pitcher filled with ice and stir well to combine.
When ready to serve, pour the drink mix into an ice-filled rocks glass to ¾-full. Top each drink with club soda and a few cranberries for garnish. Add a sprig of rosemary to each drink as they are served to use as a stirrer.
If you make the large batch before your guests arrive, be sure to keep the pitcher in the fridge to ensure the drinks are icy cold when they arrive.
*The rosemary simple syrup recipe above will make more than you need for a small batch but the leftovers will store well in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Party Time Tips: If you plan to serve this drink at a party, here are a few tips for party prep:
- Print out instructions so your guests know how to assemble the drinks and post at your drink station. There is a Print Recipe button towards the top of this recipe box.
- Ready an ice bucket filled with ice as well as drink glasses so guests can help themselves to drinks from the pitcher.
- Have a small bowl of cranberries ready to go.
- Stand the rosemary sprigs up in a small glass.
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