With Master Mixologist Maija Talikka

With autumn well on its way and the holidays right around the corner, it’s time to celebrate with creative cocktails full of seasonal flavor and flair. I recommend keeping rosemary ice cubes and cranberry simple syrup around for just this reason!

Start with the Basics:

Cranberry Simple Syrup

Rosemary Ice Cubes


  • 2-½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries (8 oz.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  • Fresh rosemary
  • Ice cube tray
  • Water

In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cranberries are tender but haven’t burst, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Discard cranberry skins. Makes 8 oz.

Wash and rinse a few sprigs of rosemary. Cut into 1-½ inch pieces and place in an ice cube tray. Fill the tray half way with water and freeze. As the water freezes, it will “anchor” the sprigs. Once frozen, fill the trays the rest of the way with water and freeze (it’s ok if tops of springs stick out). Keep cubes in freezer bags for up to 6 weeks; use to add a savory nod to your fall and holiday cocktails.

Let's Get Creative:

Now that you have the basics down, whip up these spirited cocktails and impress your guests! Each recipe makes one serving.

Rosecrans Mule

Rosecrans Mule Punch


  • 1 oz. vodka
  • ½ oz. cranberry simple syrup
  • ¼ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz. Fever-Tree ginger beer
  • Fresh rosemary


  • 2 cups vodka
  • ¾ cup cranberry simple syrup
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 5 cups Fever-Tree ginger beer
  • 1 doz. rosemary ice cubes
  • 2 cups frozen, fresh cranberries (for garnish)

Combine vodka, simple syrup and lime juice over ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Combine ingredients in punch bowl. Add rosemary ice cubes and a handful of cranberries for a colorful touch.

Falling into Winter

Classic Champagne Cocktail


  • ½ lemon, cut into wedges
  • ½ oz. cranberry simple syrup
  • 2 oz. Woodford Reserve® bourbon
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • Rosemary ice cubes
  • Fresh rosemary for garnish


  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • ¾ oz. Maison Rouge cognac
  • ¼ oz. cranberry simple syrup
  • Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve or your favorite dry Champagne
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish

In a mixing glass, muddle the lemons with cranberry syrup. Add bourbon, sweet vermouth and a few cubes of regular ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over rosemary ice. Add another sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish.

Add a few dashes of bitters to the sugar cube and place into the bottom of a champagne flute. Add cognac, simple syrup, top with Champagne and garnish with fresh cranberries.