Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we…oh wait, did you hear she’s serving gross cranberry sauce from the can again? Almost makes you want to turn the sleigh around.
Don’t let the fear of flavor boredom impact your next gathering. Serve cranberry in a way that everyone will enjoy: cocktails!
The fruit makes a great beverage base—and while everyone is used to it in Cosmos (snooze), it can spice up a number of other exciting drinks at a holiday party.
Sure, cranberry sauce from the can might be an irreplaceable classic, but one sniff of these beverages will have your guests flashing back to their happiest holiday memories.
Spiced Cranberry Cosmo
The Cosmo seems most appropriate when hitting the town on a girls’ night out, but with the right spices, you can transform the standard drink into a tasty libation oozing with holiday spirit. A Spiced Cranberry Cosmo differs from the typical cocktail in one way: it’s spiked with a simple syrup that’s full of seasonal aromas.
Just dump a cup of sugar and a cup of water into a sauce pan, along with a dash of star anise, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Then allow the water to boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. You’ll be left with a gooey substance that you can put into a Cosmo just like you would the normal simple syrup. For garnish, float a full star anise on top of the drink.
Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
The secret to making this one a holiday spectacular is the garnish. The drink is totally easy; all you need to do is pour a glass of Champagne (or Prosecco for those looking to do their holiday drink on a budget) and add equal parts cranberry juice and Grand Marnier. That’s pretty tasty by itself, but as we all know, decorations are such an important element for the holidays. The key here is to find a twig from a cranberry bush that has a few of the fruits still attached. Drop that into the Champagne, or lay it across the top of the glass, and your guests will forgive the fact that you didn’t have the time to decorate the rest of the house!
Cranberry Holiday Punch
Those cranberry bush twigs will also look mighty pretty on a big bowl of punch—and you’ll save yourself the time of mixing individual drinks for your guests if you let them ladle it out themselves. Plus the festive red color will have your guests believing you’re a true interior designer. After all, you’ve matched the liquid to the rest of your decorations! (And all you did was go to the grocery store! You’re a natural!)
For the punch, mix two parts cranberry juice to one part spiced rum, one part bourbon, one part pineapple juice, one part orange juice and half a part lemon juice. Want a boozier punch? Top off with a healthy pour of champagne to add the essential fizz that makes the libation properly punchy. If you want to lessen the tipple quotient, use ginger ale instead.
Either way, if you need a little help getting the mistletoe aspect of your shindig going, this punch has got you covered!