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.
Cranberry Drinks: The Cranberry Martini:
Yield: 1 martini
- 2 oz. vodka or gin
- 1 oz. Cranberry Ginger 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.
- Just before serving, fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Pour in the vodka or gin, the shrub syrup and the dry vermouth. Squeeze the lime juice and add to shaker. Cover with the lid and shake vigorously up and down for about 10 seconds.
- Strain into the chilled martini glass, dividing evenly.
- Garnish with either frozen cranberries or a lime slice.
Cranberry Drinks: The Cranberry Margarita:
Yield: 1 margarita
- 1 1/2 oz. tequila
- 1/2 oz. Cranberry Ginger Shrub Syrup
- 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 Shrub Syrup
- 2 oz cup fresh lime juice
- 1 oz orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier, Triple Sec, or Gran Gala)
Cranberry Drinks: Cranberry Ginger Tea:
yield: 1 cup
- 1 tea bag (your favorite tea, but lemon ginger herbal tea works well)
- 2 oz. light rum (optional)
- 1/2 oz Cranberry Ginger Shrub 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. per cup works well), and the orange juice (addition of spirits optional). 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 Shrub 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 pot (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 a few hours (taste occasionally). Add Rum in the last half 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 or club soda.
Cranberry Drinks: The Cranberry Sparkler:
Yield: 1 drink
- 2 oz vodka
- 1 oz oz. Cranberry Ginger Shrub Syrup
- 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.
Cranberry Drinks: Cranberry Mocktails:
Most craft cocktails can easily turn into craft mocktails.
- For the Cranberry Hot Tea simply delete the rum. For the chilled tea, replace the splash of sparkling wine with a splash of club soda or ginger beer.
- 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!