Plus, my grandmother, Margaret, loved cranberry cocktail–the ever-popular juice.
Later, I became a fan of a different cranberry cocktail called the Cape Codder. It’s a shot of vodka with cranberry over ice with a lime.
The Perfect Mixer
I may not drink much vodka these days, but I still think cranberry juice is the perfect mixer. It lends a blend of tang and a touch of sweetness that a good drink needs.
This year, I made a cranberry syrup for all kinds of holiday cocktails–and mocktails. It’s a simple syrup flavored with lemon zest and ginger
Once you have a batch on hand, you can mix it with vodka, tequila, gin or bourbon. For a lighter beverage, blend it with sparkling wine.
Or mix up mocktails with sparkling water or sparkling apple cider. Whenever we’re celebrating or hosting, I always like to have a special drink for the kids to celebrate, too.
No matter what beverage you create, garnish it festively with the sugared lemon peel and whole cranberries. I’ve included the east how-to-with the recipe.
Cranberry Moscow Mule
I used my holiday cranberry syrup to make a batch of Cranberry Moscow Mules. These stunning moscow mule mugs are handcrafted by Moscow Muled.
I love everything copper. These well-crafted mugs are nickel lined, so they won’t react with anything you pour into them.
And these mugs are amazing insulators, keeping drinks chilled from first sip to last.
This cranberry syrup brings the feeling of fall to a Moscow Mule. Light and refreshing, it won’t weigh you down before any big holiday meal.
Here’s to your happy holidays. Cheers!
What’s your best cranberry idea for the holidays? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.
Holiday Cranberry Syrup & Garnish for Cocktails
This simple syrup recipe combines whole cranberries with lemon and ginger for making batches of holiday cocktails and mocktails. Just mix with your favorite liquor, sparkling wine or sparkling water . It also provides a festive garnish of sugared lemon peel and whole cranberries, so you're ready for your holiday party.
- 1 lemon
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 1/4-inch thick slices unpeeled fresh gingerroot
Use a sharp vegetable peeler to cut 6 thin strips from the lemon and set them aside. Line a small tray or plate with 1 cup of the sugar.
Combine the remaining 1 cup sugar with the cranberry juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes to make a simple syrup.
Remove from pan from the heat and add the reserved lemon peel, cranberries and ginger. Cover and steep for at 15 minutes.
Use a spoon to fish out the lemon peel and place it on the prepared tray of sugar. Lift out 18 of the plumpest cranberries and place them on the sugar. Toss the lemon peel and roll the cranberries around in the sugar until evenly coated. Transfer to a cooling rack to dry completely, about 2 hours or overnight. (You can store the excess sugar in a jar for sugar coating more fruits or another use.)
Puree the rest of the cranberries and the ginger in the pot with an immersion blender or use a food processor, Pass the mixture through a fine meshed strainer into a storage jar. Discard the solids. You'll have 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cranberry simple syrup.
For each cocktail or mocktail, use 1-2 ounces of cranberry syrup to taste. Garnish with the sugared lemon peel and cranberries.