Growing up, I was not a wine person. I could barely tell the difference between white and red. I wanted to know about it, but it was such an unknown world that felt too vast to even begin to comprehend. Then, while working as an events coordinator for a group of restaurants, I suddenly found myself the head of Wine Wednesday, a weekly wine tasting at one of our stores. The wine steward had been fired and they needed someone to take on Wine Wednesday, fast. Because I had helped the former steward in the past, I was the obvious choice.
But still, I knew nothing about wine. I studied up each week, sipping wines while reading about their flavor profiles and tasting notes. “Honeysuckle,” I’d read out loud before sipping on a crisp Sauv Blanc. “Cedar and moss,” I’d say to myself between tastes of Petit Verdot.
Slowly but surely, I began to taste all these things. I could even smell them when I raised a glass to my nose. It took weeks and weeks of practice, but after a while I was pretty darn knowledgeable. I’ve learned a lot of things about wine, one being that I’m a huge fan of bubbly. While most people think of it as a seriously sweet wine, it can actually be quite dry and delicious.
Prosecco is my go-to bubbly, because it’s typically a moderate price point without sacrificing quality. Voveti is what I’m sipping on this winter. It’s upscale, yet affordable, and perfect for entertaining with friends. Think: affordable luxury.
(But, like, can affordable luxury be my motto for life? For reals.)
Because it’s on the dryer side, I made it into a prosecco cocktail. A cranberry orange jam brings out the prosecco’s acidity while adding a slightly sweet touch. Candied rosemary brings a welcomed seasonal touch to this sparkler, and complements the red and gold coloring.
How to make candied rosemary
This cranberry orange prosecco cocktail is really easy to make (literally just add everything to a glass a give it a good swirl). But I have a feeling some of you are a bit put off at the thought of making candied rosemary yourself. Trust me, it’s just as easy to make! It does take some time to set, but otherwise it’s a straightforward process. Here’s how to make candied rosemary at home:
Make a simple syrup — First, you’ll need to combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan to make a simple syrup. Let the mixture heat on the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved, then turn the heat down and add the fresh rosemary. Cook for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rosemary sit in the simple syrup for 30 minutes.
Coat the rosemary in sugar — After 30 minutes has passed, coat the soaked rosemary in white sugar. Shake off the excess sugar and place the rosemary onto a cooling rack.
Let the rosemary set — Once the rosemary has been laid on the cooling rack, let it sit on your counter for at least 30 minutes to let it set properly. You can toss the rosemary into the freezer to speed up this process, if needed!
Candied rosemary pairs well with many winter cocktails, so it’s a handy “recipe” to have up your sleeve when you have guests coming over. It’s easy to make, but it really impresses people!
In all, it’s a total winner. Be sure to pick up a bottle of Voveti for your next soiree!
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water. Stir occasionally until sugar melts completely, then turn heat to a simmer and add in rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow rosemary to soak in sugar syrup for 30 minutes.
Place 1 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Remove the rosemary from the sugar syrup and dip each piece into the bowl. Shake off excess sugar and place on a cooling rack. Allow rosemary to set for at least 30 minutes more. To speed up process, place in freezer.
To make the prosecco cocktail, combine cranberry jam with orange zest. Spoon 1 teaspoon into each champagne flute. Pour a few ounces of prosecco and stir. Continue pouring until you almost reach the top of the glass, then top with candied rosemary!