It's no secret that my favorite season is Fall, followed closely by Winter. There is something about crisp air and the whole 'Winter Wonderland' thing that I find irresistible. I love looking out the window and feeling like I'm in a giant snow globe, complete with a cup of steamy hot chocolate in my hands.
That being said, one if my favorite things about living in Ohio is the fact that we experience every season to its fullest. As much of a fanatic I am about Fall and Winter, I always get a burst of excitement when the seasons change. Yes, even the changes to Spring and Summer. Although my Summer excitement is extremely short lived and quickly replaced by sweaty, cranky annoyance. Fun, huh?
One if my favorite things about this later part of Winter is the abundance of incredible citrus. Walls filled with ten pound bags of grapefruit as far as the eye can see. Lovely lemons all packaged up, ready to be squeezed and zested. Okay, that almost crossed the line of appropriateness. I apologize.
What I'm trying to get at is this: citrus rocks and it's nature's perfect way to help us transition from Winter to Spring. I have been surrounding myself with citrus for the last month or so and this post is no exception. My citrus kick has also collided with another of my current loves: simple syrups. And this time, things got a little herb-y.
I whipped up this incredibly refreshing Citrus Rosemary Spritzer that is infused with lemon, mandarin orange and wonderfully subtle, yet fragrant rosemary. A bit of honey tops off this out-of-this-world spritzer and I couldn't be happier with the results. Simple syrups (and this one in particular) are here to stay.
There is something about the combination of citrus and rosemary that speaks to me; often in my sleep, I'm afraid. In addition to this sparkly drink, I whipped up the most buttery and bright Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies to share over on My Baking Addiction.
Serve these treats together or separate. Either way, they are a toast to everything Winter and yet a celebration of the season to come.
Oh, and making this lovely sparkling drink gave me a perfect excuse to use some more of my new vintage barware. Because apparently buying vintage barware is also a current kick I'm on. Just wait until Mad Men starts up again. Things might get even more out of control.
Here are some of my other citrus adventures so far:
Orange Goat Cheese Cheesecakes (features a simple syrup)
Key Lime Kiss Martini (features citrus and simple syrup)
The Salty Dog (features vintage barware...swoon)
Orange Cranberry Coolers (features citrus and simple syrup)
Love Potion (ok, I admit that this doesn't feature citrus, but I'm pretty crazy about these little vintage glasses. They're adorable, don't you think?)
Rosemary Citrus Spritzer
Makes 1 1/2 cups of syrup, makes 10-12 servings
Adapted from The Kitchn
4 mandarin oranges
4 (4 inch) sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
Club soda and ice for serving
Using a vegetable peeler, peel large strips of zest off 1 lemon.
Juice both lemons and all of the oranges. You should end up with 1 cup of juice. If you have a bit less, top liquid off with water until you have a total of 1 cup.
Add zest, juice, rosemary, sugar and honey to a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to boil for 1-2 minutes or until all sugars are totally dissolved.
Allow syrup to cool for 15 minutes. Strain out all solids and allow syrup to cool completely.
Assemble the soda:
Fill a glass with ice. Add 2-3 tablespoons of syrup to glass and top off with club soda. Stir well and garnish with lemon/orange slice or sprig of rosemary.