Sparkling Sugared Rosemary adds such a festive touch to your holidays. I love it because it’s so pretty and wintery, adding a touch of holiday cheer wherever you use it.

Plus, it’s super simple to make, which is very helpful during this busy time of year!

A silver platter with freshly sugared rosemary.

Whether you’re looking for Christmas cocktail garnishes, yule log decorations, or some beautifully rustic “trees” for your gingerbread house, these frosty herb sprigs are perfect.

In this Article

The Story Behind the Recipe

My kid thinks that frost is the most magical thing. Pre-parenting, I’d look out and think it just got really cold out there. But to her, everything down to the smallest blade of grass is sparkling; ethereal. And so now, I see it too. She inspires me to see the magic in everyday things. 

So naturally, a garnish that carries that frosty-sparkly magic wasn’t too much of a stretch. I just adore Sugared Rosemary and I thought it was high time I shared it here. Just like a frosty winter morning, it’s definitely magical … and the perfect extra touch for your culinary Christmas treats and feats.

What is Sugared Rosemary?

Also known as candied rosemary, sugared rosemary is simply fresh rosemary sprigs coated in granulated sugar until it looks like sparkly pine branches. Basically, the perfect garnish for the holidays (especially when pair it with sugared cranberries too!)

A close-up of sparkling sugared rosemary.


Sugared Rosemary is super simple to make, and the list of ingredients is about as intuitive as it gets: Rosemary and sugar, plus water.

  • Fresh rosemary sprigs – Depending on your climate, rosemary is pretty easy to grow. I live in the Pacific Northwest and just head out to my huge Tuscan Blue rosemary plant and cut off sprigs about five inches long or so. Your grocery store should have them in the fresh herb section too.
  • Simple syrup – Sugar and water cook together to make the sticky “glue” that holds the sugar on for proper, sturdy sugared rosemary.
  • More granulated sugar – To roll your rosemary in for its frosty sparkle!

How to Make Sugared Rosemary

First, you cook up your simple syrup and let it cool to room temperature.

Once cool, you dip your fresh rosemary into the simple syrup, then set the sprigs on a baking rack. The excess syrup drips off and the simple syrup thickens up for a sticky glue that the sugar will adhere to.

Then, roll the rosemary around in more granulated sugar, tapping off any excess. Sparkly!

Let dry completely and then garnish to your holiday heart’s desire.

Christmas mulled wine with sparkling sugared rosemary garnish

Ideas for Using This Adorable Christmas Garnish

I use this sparkly Christmas cocktail garnish to decorate charcuterie platters and desserts, and I think it looks so cute plopped into festive mulled drinks.

I’ve even seen Sugared Rosemary sprigs plopped upside down on cakes to look like trees. SO CUTE.

Okay, we’re all friends here, right? So I can share a terrible photo (complete with sassy peace-loving relative’s hand) of a very good yule log? This one’s from a couple of years ago; I went overboard on the sugared rosemary (and the powdered sugar) when I was decorating it – and on a busy Christmas Day I wasn’t about to break out the good camera – but it turned out really cute, so here goes:

A yule log decorated with sugared rosemary and sugared cranberries then dusted with powdered sugar.

Anyway! Here’s the full, printable recipe for sugared rosemary. I hope you enjoy adding this little bit of sparkly winter magic to all of the culinary goodness that comes out of your kitchen this holiday season. Happy holidays!

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Sugared Rosemary

Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 20
Sparkly and festive, sugared rosemary dresses up every holiday thing from charcuterie boards to cakes to cocktails. And it's so easy to make!


Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Sugared Rosemary

  • 20 sprigs fresh rosemary (washed and dried; I go for around 5-inch sprigs but you can use whatever size you'd like)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


Make Simple Syrup

  • Set a saute pan or medium saucepan large enough to accommodate the rosemary on the stove.
  • Add water and 1/2 cup sugar. Turn heat to medium. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Make Sugared Rosemary

  • Set a cookie rack in a baking sheet to catch the drips. Working with a few sprigs at a time, roll rosemary in cooled simple syrup mixture. Lift and let excess drip off, then transfer to the cookie rack. Let sit on your kitchen counter for 45 minutes so excess drips off and simple syrup thickens a bit.
  • Spread 1/2 cup granulated sugar on a platter. Working 3-4 sprigs at a time, roll and toss rosemary in sugar to coat completely. Set on a clean cookie sheet to let the sugar harden; about another 45 minutes.
  • Use as a garnish on cakes, decorate your holiday charcuterie boards, and plop in cocktails.
  • Sugared rosemary keeps for about 5 days. Store uncovered at room temperature.

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