Sugar Plum Fairy

Stephen Czerwinski

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Sugar Plum Fairy
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I’m a big fan of using homemade jams and preserves in cocktails. They provide interesting flavors when used sparingly, and for the home bartender with limited space, they have the advantage of being useful outside of making drinks.

So when I was looking for inspiration for some holiday-themed cocktails my mind kept on coming back to Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker,  a childhood favorite of mine. From there it seemed obvious to try to make a cocktail themed around “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” using homemade plum preserves from a friend along with that old Green Fairy: absinthe. The result is herbal, tart, and hopefully can transport the drinker to another world.


1¾ oz London Dry Gin

½ oz Fresh lemon juice

3 barspoons Plum preserves

Absinthe rinse

Sugar, to rim glass


Rinse chilled Nick and Nora or Coupe with sugar and rinse with absinthe (I like to give it a spray from an atomizer). Then shake all ingredients over ice and double strain into glass. Garnish with lemon twist and cranberries.

Alternately, if you don’t want to rim your glass with sugar, you can substitute a bar spoon or two of simple syrup added to the shaker (to taste).

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