I decided for my newest winter cocktail to give you a bay breeze with a little bit of a holiday (..and essential oil) twist!
I am in full holiday mode right now and since we are basically all stuck in our homes (especially here in Seattle) I wanted to make my apartment feel especially cozy and beautiful this year.
My only thought once I got everything looking perfect was I needed to come up with an adult friendly cocktail to go with the warm and cozy feel of the place.
(I realize some of you are thinking I am a dummy calling this drink, which is shaken with ice, a warm and cozy drink but I am more referring to the addition of warming spices.) It will all make more sense in a minute!
Cranberries just speak that special holiday language. They remind me of everything festive and elegant and if I am being honest I really really wanted to have an excuse to try out making candied cranberries. They are just so ridiculously adorable when you are all done and who the hell says you can't start a cocktail by creating the garnish first?
Usually with a bay breeze you have a simple concoction of cranberry juice, pineapple juice and vodka. It's fine and dandy. Nothing to write home about. It's also a summer drink so....need I say more.
Instead of using just plain cranberry juice, Josh and I decided to whip up a cranberry orange essential oil simple syrup. It can be made beforehand and is super simple. Just sugar, cranberry juice, fresh squeezed orange juice and wild orange essential oil! We just keep ours in the fridge with a spout for easy pour. Additionally, this syrup is so versatile that it can be used in multiple drinks and concoctions. Just have fun with it!!
We switched out gin for vodka because we thought the flavor profiles matched better, but also, when I think of gin drinks I think of the elegance of the 50's and 60s and that was the taste and feeling I wanted to convey. (Probably because I just finished a slew of oldie Christmas movie favorites.) If you haven't seen Christmas in Connecticut you must give it a watch this holiday, it's a good one!
Okay, so here comes a interesting twist to this drink: Juniper Berry!
Juniper berry essential oil is derived from the berries of the juniper tree. It is safe to consume and has a woodsy and spicy taste that pairs nicely with the citrus in drinks or recipes. If you have this essential oil it is a must try addition!
Juniper berry is also very calming and grounding so make sure you give your bottle a deep sniff or two before you put it back on your shelf to get that double benefit!
To further the spicy and woodsy feel of this drink we grated a dusting of nutmeg on top of the drink just to bring it all together. We used egg white to make this drink extra foamy just because we like how it looks and tastes but its totally optional. The pineapple juice in itself will add a touch of foam.
So that's it! Play bartender for the night and create yourself some of these delicious drinks, curl up with a blanket and put on your own favorite holiday classic. (Holiday Inn is also a good one!)
Cranberry Orange Holiday Breeze
Makes one cocktail
2 ounces gin
1 tablespoon triple sec
3 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce cranberry orange simple syrup (recipe below)
2 drops juniper berry essential oil*
1 tablespoon egg whites
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
5 drops wild orange essential oil
Add gin, triple sec, pineapple juice, simple syrup, essential oil, and egg whites to a cocktail shaker with 1 scoop of cubed ice. Vigorously shake for 15-20 seconds to activate pineapple juice and egg whites and to incorporate ingredients. Strain into a cocktail coupe and garnish with fresh candied cranberries and a dusting of nutmeg.
Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup
In a medium sauce pan combine sugar, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool, and add wild orange essential oil. Bottle and keep in fridge for up to 3 weeks.
*We use doTERRA essential oils for cooking because of their high quality and purity. You do not have to use essential oils for this recipe but if you do make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption. Enjoy!