I invented this for my christmas party, only because I had a bunch of simple syrup leftover from making candied orange slices. However, simple syrup is great to have around for creating all sorts of cocktails and non-boozy drinks. Just combine equal parts of sugar and water in a pot, and simmer until the sugar dissolves. You can flavour it with whatever you like: mint, tea bags, citrus zest or ginger. For this recipe, I steeped star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange zest in the simple syrup. It will keep for months in the fridge.
spiced apple gin fizz
1 oz gin
1/2 oz spiced simple syrup
2 oz apple cider
2 oz club soda
Combine all ingredients over ice and stir.
(if you want to be real fancy, try freezing cranberries in ice cubes - it turns plain old ice cubes into gorgeous, festive drink coolers!)