Finally, there’s a boozy use for those mini jars of preserves that show up in holiday gift baskets. According to the New York Times, creative cocktail sweeteners are popping up on drink menus all over New York City. At Harlem’s China de Puebla, cranberry jam sweetens the Cranberry-Star Anise Margarita, while grapefruit marmalade adds a sweet note to the cachaça-spiked Toranja at Grayz in Midtown, and apricot jam balances the Cognac and lemon juice in the Crusta Apris at Bobo in the West Village.
Peter Kane, mixologist and an owner of Stanton Social on the Lower East Side, created the Social Tea, which “melds citrus vodka with orange marmalade and a variety of green tea from China called gunpowder tea, rounded off with honey and lemon flavors.” Kane says that this jam fad is one cocktail trend that’s easy to re-create at home.
[U]nlike many of the latest cocktail ingredient fads, some of which derive from bartenders raiding high-end restaurant kitchens for painstakingly made syrups and hard-to-find obscurities, Mr. Kane said the beauty of this one is its accessibility.
‘How many different marmalades are out there that are just amazing?’ he said. ‘You can make cocktails at home with them that are 1-2-3 easy.’
Another plus? These cocktail sweeteners do double duty as a toast topping the morning after, while trickier cocktail ingredients—like your home-infused Vermouth de Provence, for example—won’t find a place on your breakfast table.
By the way, if you have any leftover cranberry jelly after Christmas dinner, we know of a good use for it.