Well the holiday season is officially over but that hasn’t stopped us from getting creative with the leftovers! We have an abundant supply of fresh cranberries and we tend to buy way too many between American Thanksgiving and Christmas for cranberry compote.
A fun fact about cranberries is that they contain an acne-fighting compound called resveratrol, and they have antiseptic properties that help achieve a clear complexion. You can easily add some cranberry juice to a face mask for an glow. They are also packed with Vitamin C which helps fight off aging free radicals and boost collagen production.
Cranberries freeze very well so you can enjoy them all year around. This year we decided to try something new and experiment with some cocktail making. We made some sugared cranberries and cranberry simple syrup. You can make amazing cocktails with the syrup and you can garnish your drinks (or a salad) with the sugared berries. They also make great house gifts and the simple syrup keeps for months in the refrigerator. Simply write out the recipe in a card for your host and tie it to a mason jar with filled berries or an old glass bottle filled with your simple syrup.
Below you will find instructions and ingredients for both the syrup and sugared cranberries since the syrup comes from making the berries.
Sugared Cranberries & Cranberry, Cinnamon, Clove Simple Syrup
- 8 cups of cranberries
- 8 quarts of cold water
- 8 cups of white sugar
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
Place the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and whole cloves in a stockpot, bring to a boil, and cook until all the sugar is melted. Let syrup cool and dump all the cranberries in the pot stirring until they are all coated. Place in a cold place or in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours (this allows the flavor to infuse into the cranberries).
Ready two large sheet pans with two cups of sugar each. Strain the cranberries and place on sheet pans. Shake the sheet pans until all the cranberries are fully coated with the sugar. Place on a counter top and allow the cranberries to dry and harden overnight.
When they are dry place them in glass bowls for snacking, package in clear bags for gifts, or use as a garnish.
Reserve the sugar for tea or for garnishing cocktail glasses (around the rim)
Pour the remaining simple syrup into large glass bottles (we save our beautiful rose or white wine bottles throughout the year) you can also make multiples gifts with smaller glass bottles (which we get from the dollar store or Pier One) and give them as gifts with cocktail recipes. You can use this simple syrup with vodka, gin, tequila and white rum.
Favorite Cranberry Cocktail Recipes
Red Ruby Vodka Martini
- 1 ½ parts Vodka
- 1 ½ parts Cranberry simple syrup
- 2 dashes crème de pèche
- 1 dash vermouth
- 3 sugared cranberries for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add all the ingredients and shake until nice and cold. Strain into a large cocktail glass. Garnish with cranberries.
- 1 ½ cups of cranberry simple syrup
- ¾ cup of limejuice
- ¾ cup of silver tequila
- ¼ cup of triple sec
- Wedge of lime
- Cranberries for garnish
Stir all the ingredients together. For a straight up margarita put into a shaker with
ice cubes and shake until cold. Strain into a margarita glass. Place 4 sugared
cranberries on a small stick and garnish the glass or serve over ice with a lime
wedge and some of the cranberries
- 1 oz. of cranberry simple syrup
- 1 ½ oz. gin
- 2 oz. of chilled ginger beer
- 1 sprig of rosemary (you can sugar it by brushing egg whites and sprinkling sugar
- on it)
- Sugared cranberries for garnish
Combine ingredients and serve over ice and garnish with cranberries and rosemary
- 1 ½ oz. of white rum
- 2 ounces of cranberry simple syrup
- 2 ounces of orange juice
- Sugared cranberries for garnish
Pour everything into a shaker filled with ice and shake until cold. Strain and place
into a highball glass. Garnish with a wedge of line and cranberries.