Festive Cranberry Cocktails for the Holidays

This weekend, I had some friends over for a holiday gift exchange and thought it would be nice to serve up a festive drink for everyone to enjoy. What better festive flavour combination than cranberries and rosemary? The result is a sweet and savoury drink with a bubbly finish! Perfect for a night with the girls. The best part was that all the hard work was done the night before so all I had to do was put it together, serve and enjoy it with my guests!

festive-cranberry-cocktail

Adapted from Martha Stewart:

Cranberry Cocktails (Serves 8 short glasses and 4 tall glasses)

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups dry red wine, I chose a Pinot Noir
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
Thin strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
Pinch of coarse salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups seltzer

What you need to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the cranberries into a large skillet that is oven safe and set aside. In a medium saucepan combine the wine, maple syrup, brown sugar, lemon zest, whole vanilla bean and seeds, pink peppercorns, and salt and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.

2. Once the liquid has come to a boil, pour it over the cranberries. Cover the mixture tightly with foil, and bake until the cranberries are soft about 10-15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a bowl; cover with 1 cup cooking liquid. Let cool completely.

3. Bring 1/2 cup cooking liquid and the 2/3 cup of granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced and barely coats the back of a spoon. This should take about 6 minutes. Then, pour the liquid through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; let cool completely. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days.

4. Puree remaining cranberries and liquid in a blender then pour through a sieve to end up with a smooth red liquid.

5. To serve, fill 1/4 of the glass with syrup and another 1/4 with puree, stir together, top with seltzer and finish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Enjoy!

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