Recipes

Vanilla Clove Syrup plus Two Holiday Cocktails

This simple syrup takes classic cocktails into holiday cheer.

// December 18, 2014

It’s time to bring out the good stuff, the holidays are here. Thanksgiving is for sharing the turkey, but the rest of the holidays are for sharing the booze. There is no crazy office Thanksgiving party where your clients or staff do something totally inappropriate, that happens at the end of the year holiday party! The parties we all remember and love. We have been making our rounds on the holiday party circuit this year and one thing they all have in common is a signature drink, and that naked guy (just kidding).

Although we are not hosting a party this year, we wanted to share a great vanilla clove syrup recipe to make two wonderful cocktails for any holiday party. Even though Susan and I are married and have so much in common, our tastes in cocktails couldn’t me more different. I like a more savory, bitter cocktail where Susan prefers a sweeter and bubbly one. That’s why I came up with these two cocktails using the vanilla clove syrup. The syrup by itself has both qualities of savory and sweet and is a great neutral for both palettes. For the more savory, bitter cocktail I suggest the “Holiday Negroni” which has a naturally bitter taste from the Campari, but is mellowed out by the vanilla clove syrup. For the sweeter palette, the “Screw Driver on Holiday” is the ticket, it has a refreshing and sweet taste with a touch of the holidays that vanilla and cloves bring.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday season and go slow on the booze so you don’t end up being the naked guy!

Happy Holidays from The Brinsons

Vanilla and Clove Syrup

  • 2 tbsp cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1 vanilla bean halved
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  1. Add cloves, vanilla bean and water in a pot and boil for about 30 minutes, until liquid has reduced to 4 cups. For me to took about 30 minutes, watch this carefully, the water can reduce fast.
  2. When water has reduced to 4 cups, strain into a heat proof bowl with a fine mesh strainer, or cheese cloth. This will get any large pieces out.
  3. Put flavored water back in pot, and add sugar. Heat until it comes to a boil over medium high heat, and cook for about 10 minutes for syrup to thicken.
  4. Place in heat proof container and let cool. Store in fridge up to two weeks.

Makes about 4 cups, and is also amazing in coffee or over pound cake. 

Holiday Negroni

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 1.5 oz Campari
  • 1 oz Vanilla and clove syrup
  • orange peel for garnish
  1. Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass with ice.
  3. twist the orange peel over the glass and rub the white pith side of the orange around the rim of the glass.
  4. and garnish with the orange peel.

Screw Driver on Holiday

  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 3 oz Orange juice
  • 1 oz Vanilla and clove syrup
  1. Fill a collins glass with ice.
  2. Pour all the ingredients into the glass and give it a stir to incorporate the syrup.
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