It’s that time of the year….cranberries, pumpkin, gløggs, toddies, hot chocolate and of course, champagne. In keeping with the holiday “spirit”, here are some recipes for craft cocktails and mocktails using a Cranberry Thyme Shrub Syrup and/or a Cranberry Ginger Simple Syrup as the flavor enhancer. If you want to make your own cranberry shrub syrups for these cocktails, see this post.
Yield: 1 martini
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. Cranberry Thyme Shrub Syrup
- 1/2 oz.dry vermouth (or Lillet if you want to go fancy)
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
- Put martini glass in the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes.
- Just before serving, fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Pour in the vodka, vermouth and cranberry juice. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously up and down for about 10 seconds.
- Strain into the chilled glasses, dividing evenly.
- Garnish with either frozen cranberries and a lemon twist on a pick or candied ginger woven onto a pick
Cranberry Ginger Margarita:
Yield: 1 margarita
- 1 1/2 oz. tequila (avid margarita drinkers will swear by premium tequilas)
- 1/2 oz. Cranberry Ginger Syrup (can use cranberry thyme shrub syrup for less sweet margarita)
- 1/2 oz. lime juice
- 1/4 oz. triple sec (or orange liqueur)
- kosher salt for rimming the glass
- Garnishes: thinly sliced limes, lime wedges or fresh cranberries
- Use one of the lime wedges to moisten the rim of the glass and then dip glass rim into some kosher salt spread out on a plate.
- Combine the tequila, cranberry syrup, lime juice and orange liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake rather vigorously for about 10 seconds.
- Strain into low tumblers filled with ice.
** For Pitcher Margaritas (4 margaritas):
- 6 oz premium tequila
- 2 oz Cranberry Ginger syrup
- 2 oz cup fresh lime juice
- 1 oz orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or Gran Gala)
Cranberry Ginger Tea:
yield: 1 cup
- 1 tea bag (your favorite tea, but lemon ginger herbal tea works well)
- 2 oz. rum (or any white liquor)
- 1/2 oz Cranberry Ginger Syrup
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- cinnamon stick for garnish
- Make your favorite cup of tea (black and green teas can take the strong flavors of cranberry, but an herbal lemon tea or a white tea will allow the cranberry syrup to shine more)
- Add cranberry ginger syrup to taste (about 3 Tbsp. works well), and the orange juice. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Crock Pot Cranberry Ginger Tea for Parties:
Yield: 8-12 servings
- 4 cups boiling water
- 6 bags of your favorite tea (black, green or herbal lemon-ginger tea)
- 12 oz Cranberry Ginger Syrup
- 2 large lemons, sliced
- 8 cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- 1 cup rum (or vodka or gin)
- Bring water to a boil on the stove top. Place the tea bags in a 6 quart slow cooker (or crockpot) and pour the boiling water over tea bags. Cover and let the mixture steep for 5-10 minutes (shorter for black teas and longer for herbal teas).
- Remove the tea bags and add cranberry syrup, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and dried cranberries, stirring just to combine. Cover and cook on a low heat setting for 5-8 hours (alternatively on high for 2-3 hours). Add Rum in the last hour.
- Serve by ladling hot tea into cups and garnishing with a fresh lemon slice and/or a cinnamon stick.
- Can also be served chilled in a flute, topped off with a splash of sparkling wine.
Cranberry Thyme Sparkler:
Yield: 1 drink
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz oz. Cranberry Thyme Shrub Syrup (or cranberry ginger for sweeter drink)
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 3-4 oz. sparkling apple cider (can substitute tonic water or club soda)
- Combine the vodka, shrub syrup and lime juice in shaker and shake to combine.
- Pour over ice in a tall glass and top with sparkling cider. Stir and enjoy.
- Garnish with fresh cranberries or apple slice if desired.
Most craft cocktails can easily turn into craft mocktails.
- For the Cranberry Tea Hot Tea simply delete the rum. For the chilled tea, replace the splash of sparkling wine with a splash of club soda.
- The Cranberry Sparkler is also adaptable into a mocktail…simply delete the vodka and the drink is still wonderful and refreshing.
These craft cocktails have all been happily tested in my home kitchen. Happy Holidays!