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Let’s give thanks for holiday-inspired cocktails and cranberry gin

Oh my gourd, it’s the holiday season! Nothing gets me into the spirit more than a holiday-inspired cocktail. Before the cold grips us all, I celebrate the last gasp of autumn with the taste of cranberry and rhubarb. Sweetgrass Winery & Distillery (located in Union and with a tasting room on Fore Street in Portland) makes Rhubarb Smash, a barrel-aged brandy blended with rhubarb and elderberries. While I was at their Old Port tasting room, I also picked up a bottle of their Cranberry Gin, which is made with Maine cranberries.

I also made candied sage garnishes, which is actually much easier than it sounds. First I coated sage leaves in simple syrup, then I sprinkled sugar all over both sides of the leaves and let them dry and harden on a wire rack over night. Getting them to float perfectly on your drink is the tricky part.

This blend of classic holiday flavors is the perfect fancy party cocktail, and what I love most is that it is so damn easy.

THE RECIPE

2 ounces Sweetgrass Cranberry Gin
2 ounces Sweetgrass Rhubarb Smash
1/2 ounce lime juice
1 ounce cranberry juice
Candied sage and cranberries for the garnish

Put all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass, add garnish.

Jessie Lacey resides at the heart of downtown Portland with her border collie puppy Josie, making cocktails and trouble.

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