Eat, Drink & Be Merry

By Jessica Pleger
Photography by Lisa Taylor Hall

In the South we associate certain dishes with the Holidays. They are either family staples, recipes passed down from generation to generation or cultural traditions. I like to do Southern Fare with a Modern Flair so here are some traditional favorites with a twist. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy a meal around the table with family and friends. Most of my favorite memories of the holiday season is gathered in the kitchen or around the dinner table. So, from my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving” – Mother Teresa


Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
Fresh sprigs rosemary

3/4 cup rosemary-infused simply syrup
1 bottle prosecco
6 sprigs fresh rosemary


In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cranberries, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer while continuing to stir, until all the cranberries have popped. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and add the sprigs of rosemary. Let the rosemary infuse for 5 minutes, remove from the simple syrup, and discard.

Once the simple syrup has cooled, strain the cranberry chunks from the simple syrup and refrigerate.

To make the Rosemary Cranberry Garnish: Pierce the cranberries with a toothpick; make sure to go all the way through the berry. Remove the bottom few leaves from the rosemary sprig and put 3 berries at the bottom. Make enough sprigs for each serving.

To make the cocktails, pour 1-2 Tablespoons of rosemary-infused simple syrup into the bottom of a champagne glass. Pour prosecco over a spoon into the glass. Add a rosemary sprig to the glass, serve, and enjoy!