It’s Colleen here today with a delicious holiday cocktail and a last minute holiday gift idea!
Let’s talk cranberries…You can’t just get those gorgeous crimson orbs whenever you want them, so when they are in season, you’ll want to use them in so many delicious ways… from quick breads and cakes to cookies and cocktails. You can make a savory glaze for ham or add them to various side dishes.
What is your favorite way to use fresh cranberries?
The other day, I purchased yet another a container of gorgeous organic cranberries from my local Whole Foods. I wasn’t sure what I was going to to with them, all I knew was they were too darn plump and pretty to pass up!
When I woke up Saturday morning, the first thing on my mind was those cranberries. While my family was fast asleep, I crept downstairs and grabbed a pot, the cranberries, water, sugar and a lime. I put it on the stove and plopped myself on the couch to watch the latest episode of Shark Tank. By the first or second commercial, my concoction was ready. It was that simple! You know you are a food blogger when you are testing and tasting cocktails before 8am. LOL!!
Making your own Cranberry Simple Syrup is easy, and it makes a delicious difference. You can make it, store it in the fridge, and then use it for cocktails, marinades, homemade juice for the kiddos and more!
It also makes a nice gift this time of year as well – pour some into a mason jar, tie a ribbon around it and attach a note card with ideas on how to use it, and you have yourself a gift! You could also kick it up a notch and include a bottle of vodka, a lime and a glass or two. I know I would love a gift like that!
- For the Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup plus 2 TBS sugar
- 1 TBS fresh lime juice
- For the Cocktail
- 1/2 cup of the cranberry Vodka Simple Syrup
- 2 oz vodka (or more)
- Squeeze of fresh lime juice
- Diet Sprite or club soda
- Garnish: A few cranberries and a lime wedge
- In a small pot, combine cranberries, water and sugar. Heat until the mixture begins to boil then reduce to a simmer.
- Continue simmering until cranberries have burst (about 3-4 minutes more).
- Remove from heat and carefully use a potato masher or a muddler to mash the cranberries, which will maximize the infusion. Allow this mixture to cool.
- Strain the syrup (using a mesh strainer) into a bowl. Be sure to press firmly down on the cranberries to get every bit of syrup. You will need to scrape the cranberry pulp off of the strainer and discard to continue, or the strainer will become clogged.
- Once the syrup is completely cool, transfer it into a large mason jar or glass container and store in your fridge until ready to use.
- For a tall glass serving, fill glass with ice and add in your syrup, vodka and lime. Top off with Sprite or club soda. Stir, taste & adjust to your liking. Garnish and serve.
- For a tumbler serving, reduce syrup by 1/2 and vodka to your preference. Stir, taste & adjust to your liking. Garnish and serve.