Holiday Cranberry Cocktails
This cranberry cocktail is a swirl of favorite flavors: maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and red wine. Serve it with a stirrer beaded with poached cranberries. Our Santa Swizzle Sticks clip art is affixed to a sphere of honeycomb paper and topped with his signature hat.
- Yield: Makes 4
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups dry red wine, such as 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
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cranberries into a large, high-sided skillet; set aside. Bring syrup, wine, brown sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, peppercorns, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking occasionally.
Pour over cranberries. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a bowl; cover with 1 cup cooking liquid. Let cool completely.
Bring 1/2 cup cooking liquid and the granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low; simmer until liquid has reduced and barely coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; let cool completely.
Reserve 40 cranberries. Puree remaining cranberries and liquid in a blender.
To serve, place 10 reserved cranberries on each of 4 decorative skewers. Pour 1/4 cup puree and 1/4 cup syrup into each of four 12-ounce glasses; stir to combine. Add skewers, and fill glasses with ice. Top with seltzer, and serve.