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Rosemary Tangerine Cooler

Caramelized citrus and herbs mix together for this delightful rum-based tangerine and rosemary cocktail.

(This recipe for tangerine and rosemary cocktails was originally posted in August 2012, but was updated with new photos in 2018).

Head-on view of tangerine and rosemary cocktail in a tall glass with rosemary garnish and second cocktail, cutting board with sliced tangerines and rosemary in the background and recipe title at the top of the image

When someone declares it National Rum Day, you celebrate. Right? OK, so National Rum Day was actually yesterday. And I just happened to have this drink planned before I had any idea it was National Rum Day. Coincidences like this keep happening to me… I even made s’mores cookie bars for our work potluck last Friday on National S’mores Day before I had a clue it was National S’mores Day (not sure how I missed advance notice of this very important holiday). It’s uncanny really. Maybe I have the psychic ability to determine what national food day it is? I definitely just Googled to see if today was a national holiday for any of the meals I have planned… But it’s actually National Vanilla Custard Day. And, alas, I do not have a vanilla custard recipe planned, so I guess my psychic theory is wrong. But I also learned that Sunday is Hot and Spicy Food Day (which you know I’ll be celebrating!) and next weekend is Whiskey Sour Day, which is also cause for celebration. Consider this a public service announcement.

But back to Cocktail Friday. I spotted this swoon-worthy rosemary tangerine cocktail in Bon Appetit and found it instantly appealing from the image alone. It screamed summer and made me realize I haven’t made nearly enough cocktails this summer. In fact, I haven’t even made a single cocktail in a mason jar. Who am I?? I still have a few weeks left and will most definitely be taking full advantage of them. Starting with this deliciousness. I mean, a rosemary cocktail? Heavenly.


Have you ever grilled oranges? Or any other citrus fruit? What about grilling them after you coat them in coarse sugar? Because that’s what you do in this recipe and omg it is glorious. Basically, you slide the tangerines in half and coat the cut end in sugar and then place cut-side down in a cast-iron skillet, along with some sprigs of rosemary.

FYI: even if you’re not interested in this cocktail, you must do the above immediately simply for as a room freshener. Omg my kitchen smelled so delightful from the sweet tangerines and fragrant rosemary. This is especially wonderful during the holiday season. Do it before you have a holiday party and your guests will lose their minds. Caramelized tangerines are my new everything.

Collage showing process for caramelizing the tangerines, including in image of tangerines coated in sugar, caramelized tangerines in bowl, and caramelized tangerines sliced

Anyway. Once your tangerines are nice and toasty, you’ll remove them from the skillet and discard the rosemary. Kind of sad, but I guess the fragrance of it seeps into the tangerines enough, so your cocktail will still have some rosemary essence. Once this step is done, it’s easy street. Simply muddle the tangerines and a bit more sugar in a cocktail shaker, add rum and ice, shake away, and pour into a glass.

Garnish with a bit of fresh rosemary (technically, you could use the rosemary you caramelized instead of discarding it… But the fresh looked so much prettier) and sip away.

Close-up image of tangerine and rosemary cocktail in a tall glass with crushed ice and rosemary garnish with cutting board with tangerines and rosemary in the background

I made this gorgeous tangerine rosemary cocktail in August, but it really felt more like a cozy winter drink. Rosemary just feels wintry to me and so does citrus… Especially when said citrus is caramelized.

Landscape view of two tall glasses of tangerine and rosemary cocktail with rosemary garnish with cutting board with tangerines and rosemary and muddler in the background

But no matter what time of year you enjoy it, this cocktail is super tasty! It definitely has a strong citrus taste, though the rum nicely shines through. and I thought the light caramel flavor was wonderful.

I sort of wish the rosemary could function as a straw. How fun would that be? That’s my next invention: herb straws.

Head-on view of tangerine and rosemary cocktail in a tall glass with rosemary garnish and second cocktail, cutting board with sliced tangerines and rosemary in the background

And now I want to try this very same drink, but with grapefruit, thyme, and tequila. Which would make it not the same drink at all, but you know what I mean. Once you get the “method” of caramelizing, muddling, and pouring, you can switch out the citrus, herbs, and alcohol for whatever you want and your drink options are endless.

The way drink options should be. I hope you have a very happy Cocktail Friday, no matter what your drink of choice might be!

Did you celebrate National Rum Day? Will you this weekend??

If you’re looking for more unique cocktail recipes, check out this Cranberry Pomegranate Sparkler or this Grapefruit Blood Orange Cocktail.

Rosemary Tangerine Cooler
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
2 mins
Total Time
12 mins

Caramelized citrus and herbs mix together for this delightful rum-based Tangerine and Rosemary Cocktail.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cocktails, Rum
Servings: 2 cocktails
  • 1 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp coarse sugar
  • 2 tangerines or clementines
  • 6 sprigs rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 4 oz. rum
  • Crushed ice
  1. Place Tbsp coarse sugar in a small bowl. Slice tangerines or clementines in half and dip cut sides into the sugar.

  2. Place tangerines cut-side down in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.Add about 6 sprigs of rosemary in pan. Let cook for about 2 minutes, until sugar on tangerines caramelizes. Remove from heat.

  3. Discard rosemary (or use for another purpose). Let tangerines cool a bit and then cut each half into quarters.

  4. Put half the tangerines and 1 tsp remaining sugar in a cocktail shaker. Muddle to release as much juice as possible from tangerines. Add 2 oz. rum and crushed ice to shaker.

  5. Shake well and pour into ice-filled glass. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Garnish glasses with additional rosemary.

Recipe Notes
Rosemary Tangerine Cooler -- Caramelized citrus and herbs mix together for this delightful rum-based Tangerine and Rosemary Cocktail | wearenotmartha.com #cocktails #citrus #rum #rosemary

12 Responses to "Rosemary Tangerine Cooler"

  1. Gia Grossman says:

    Pretty! I didn’t know it was Rum Day but I might need to celebrate it tonight!

  2. Jeannie says:

    How nice to have so many celebrations, your rum drink sounds delicious!

  3. Shannon says:

    oh wow, this sounds fantastic!! what a great cocktail, and thanks for the reminder that i need to use up some of the simple syrups i have in my fridge πŸ™‚

  4. Emily @ A Cambridge Story says:

    I adore herb-y drinks!

  5. Kelly says:

    I love the sweet & savory sound of this cocktail with the citrus and herbs. It sounds very refreshing and perfect for these few remaining (how sad to say that) summer days.

  6. Cara Craves... says:

    Wow! I celebrated National Rum Day and had no idea πŸ˜‰ I whipped up some mojitos!

  7. Pam says:

    Yum! It looks refreshing and delicious.

  8. Kerstin says:

    What a unique and refreshing cocktail! I love the rosemary garnish too πŸ™‚

  9. Victoria says:

    National food days always make me laugh. They literally have one for everything you can imagine! They probably have a chopped liver day too. Rum day is a celebration I can definitely get behind πŸ™‚

  10. Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) says:

    These look incredible! Love the flavor combinations. These would make a great party drink πŸ™‚

  11. Sara @ Saucy Dipper says:

    I can’t believe I missed National Rum Day. For shame! I love the idea of rosemary as a garnish. I have quite a bit in my garden that I’m not sure what to do with.

  12. Monique says:

    I have a rosemary plant that will definitely be put to good use with this recipe!! God Bless alcohol!

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