Rosé has everyone's attention, and now that it has finally received the praise it deserves, I thought one day of this week's series on wintry boxed wine pitcher cocktails should be dedicated this wine that's so often associated with summertime. You can tell by the gorgeous holiday color why I thought it was an appropriate fit this week.
This serious pink cocktail is for those with a slant toward the bitter side. It's a crisp, tart, and herbaceous twist on a gin and tonic.
Of course, you know that rosé can be made either dry or sweet, and either route you choose will bring a different slant to this cocktail. A sweeter style is going to result in a richer, fuller cocktail — almost like a fruit punch in its taste. I prefer using a dry rosé for this recipe; it will keep the cocktail a little more balanced and elegant. Its red fruity notes are a perfect match with the tart cranberry, peppery syrup, and the crisp tonic water.
And I couldn't resist using pink peppercorns in this recipe. Although they are not true peppercorns, these dried pink berries of the Brazilian pepper tree add a subtle spicy flavor and incredible color to this bright, rosy-hued libation.
Rosé, Gin & Pink Peppercorn Pitcher Cocktail
For the pink peppercorn syrup:
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
For the cocktail:
24 ounces rosé wine (I used Bridge Lane)
12 ounces gin (I used the Botanist)
24 ounces white grape juice
3 ounces cranberry liqueur (I used Leopold Bros.)
3 ounces pink peppercorn syrup
12 ounces chilled tonic, to taste (I used Fever Tree)
Cranberries, for garnish (sugar them, if you have the time)
Cranberry and rosemary ice cubes, for garnish
For the pink peppercorn syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the cane sugar, water, and pink peppercorns. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and then lower the heat to a slow simmer, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, steep for 20 minutes, discard solids, and let cool completely.
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the rosé, gin, white grape juice, cranberry liqueur, and pink peppercorn syrup. Stir until incorporated and chill in the refrigerator until you're ready to enjoy. You can make this portion of the cocktail a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator; just give the mixture a good stir before serving.
For the cocktail: When you're ready to serve the cocktail, fill your pitcher or punch bowl with ice, and add the chilled cocktail mixture. Quickly top with the tonic water, taste for balance, and give the mixture a gentle stir. Prep individual cocktail glasses with cranberry and rosemary ice cubes; add the finished rosé, gin, and pink peppercorn cocktail; and garnish with cranberry skewers.
- Leopold Bros. New England Tart Cranberry liqueur might be tough to find, but like their Rocky Mountain Blackberry liqueur, it's worth it if you can score some. You can substitute Chambord black raspberry liqueur, but the flavor profile of the cocktail will shift slightly sweeter.