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Rosemary and Winter Solstice

Updated: Dec 19, 2023



Rosemary has so many uses, some practitioners call it “the clear crystal quartz of the herb world.” At Yule, when we’re in the darkest night, Rosemary can bring forth remembrances of the year behind, as well as offer spiritual protection going into the year ahead. 


Legend tells us that Romans wore crowns of fragrant rosemary at feasts such as Saturnalia, and ancient Greek scholars wore rosemary in their hair to help them focus for exams. It’s said that at midnight on Twelfth Night, or January 5, the eve of Epiphany, rosemary plants burst into flower in celebration of Christmas.


How can you use this herb at the winter solstice? 

Use rosemary in a dried herb bundle or incense to burn at this time to clear the home or workspace. Add it to your Wassail punch or burn some in a simmer pot. Add springs to you evergreen wreath or trees, or display pomanders and ornaments on a plate of rosemary.


Another favorite way to use Rosemary is to make a simple syrup that can be added to teas, cocktails and mocktails. Here’s the method: add 1 cup filtered water to a saucepan. Bring to a low boil and stir in 1 cup granulated sugar. Keep stirring until it dissolves. Add 3-6 rosemary branches and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat. Allow pan to rest and steep for 30-60 minutes, depending how strong you like your rosemary flavor. Strain and store in a sealed container in the fridge. Use within 6 months.


A wintery mocktail recipe: In a glass, add equal amounts chilled pomegranate juice or cranberry juice with chilled lemon seltzer. Add a squeeze of fresh orange or lime juice, and a splash, to taste, of rosemary simple syrup. I drink mine as-is, but you can serve it over ice. Garnish with citrus slices, rosemary sprigs or fresh cranberries.




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