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I don’t know about you but I find the holidays to be a little stressful. Don’t get me wrong, they can also be super fun and magical but that time period in between Thanksgiving and Christmas tends to get a little hectic which in turn can cause some major stress. I find that when I’m doing my holiday baking or wrapping gifts or having people over it’s a great idea to have a signature cocktail that you can whip out in just a few minutes.
My Christmas Cranberry Cocktail is one of those recipes. You can make the cranberry simple syrup up to 2 weeks in advance and keep it in your refrigerator. Then as long as you have the rest of the ingredients on hand you can make a batch of these cocktails in under five minutes.
If you want to get super fancy you can make sugared cranberries and spear them on fresh rosemary as a garnish but I find that regular old cranberries on some type of cocktail pick work just as well. If I were hosting a holiday party I might get fancy but for everyday use or when my husband and I are enjoying a cocktail at home the cranberries on a pick work just fine.
In order to make the cranberry simple syrup all you need are fresh cranberries, sugar, and water. It’s that combination boiled down to a thick syrup that gives the Christmas Cranberry Cocktail a sweet and tart flavor. I personally love that it’s a little bit tart because over the holidays everything is so darn sweet!
To the simple syrup you add vodka, orange liqueur, and sparkling water. That’s it! It’s a super simple recipes but it looks really festive and it tastes great as well. I’ve given you the measurements I use in my cocktails but feel free to play around with them to give you the taste you are looking for.
If you want to do a twist on this cocktail you can add orange juice instead of the liqueur. Another great twist is to add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cranberry simple syrup. It makes the drink a little spicy which is perfect at the holidays.
However you choose to serve it up, this is the perfect holiday cocktail for parties, gatherings, or a simple night at home!
Christmas Cranberry Cocktail
For the cranberry simple syrup:
- 1 c. fresh cranberries
- 1 c. water
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla optional
For the cocktail:
- 2 oz. vodka
- 2 oz. orange liqueur
- 4 oz. cranberry simple syrup
- sparkling water
- fresh cranberries for garnish
- To make the simple syrup place the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, or until most of the cranberries have broken open.
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer reserving the clear liquid. Discard the solids.
- Add the vanilla to the clear liquid mixture if desired.
- To make the cocktail fill two glasses with ice.
- In a shaker combine the vodka, orange liqeuer, and cranberry syrup with ice. Shake for 30 seconds.
- Strain equal parts of the mixture between the 2 prepared glasses. Top each glass with sparkling water and give it a stir.
- Top each cocktail with fresh cranberries if desired.