Ok, frugal boozehounds and DIY cocktail masters, now is the time to stock up on cranberries and make things with them! Their prices will plummet between December and January - they freeze like a dream, they make a great addition to smoothies, but most importantly of all, they make a delicious cordial.
Here's how I make my spiced cranberry cordial ever winter, but feel free to play with the recipe...add things, switch up the spices, and most of all, make it your own! If you have never made a tincture
, or elixir
before, this post might be helpful to you
Spiced Cranberry Cordial
Now, this cranberry cordial recipe is quite malleable. More than an exact recipe, I'm sharing a technique with a few simple guidelines, but the variations are endless. Add ginger root, star anise, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, any other herbs or spices that you think might blend well with the tart, astringent cranberries.
You can also play with the sugar syrup to change the end flavor of the cordial - white sugar makes a very neutral, highly sweet simple syrup, while brown sugar adds a depth of flavor from the molasses. Honey simple syrup is more cloying and rich, but gives a great buffer to the tart berries. A basic recipe for simple syrup is at the end of this article.
Now, get to mixing!
Ingredients for One Pint
- 3 cups Cranberries (or 1 12oz bag of cranberries)
- 1 stick Cinnamon
- 1 piece Star Anise
- 1 piece Dried Orange Peel
- 1 pint Vodka
- Other spices (Ginger, cloves, fennel...anything can go here that you wish to add!)
- Wash and pick through cranberries to ensure they are in good shape. Toss out any gross ones or mushy ones and put the cranberries in a quart jar.
- Pour vodka to cover the cranberries - add the cinnamon stick, anise, and orange into the jar.
- Put a cap on the jar and label the jar with the date and ingredients. Wait for at least a few weeks before straining the vodka from the jar. You may wish to mash the berries and let it sit even longer, but the seeds and skins will start to make it quite bitter after too long, so taste often.
- Make a sugar syrup to add to the strained cranberry cordial - sweeten to your taste! Label, bottle, and enjoy throughout the year.
- Boil one cup of water.
- Add two cups of sugar (or 1.5 cup of honey, or agave, or whatever you prefer!)
- Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and remove from heat.
- Allow to cool.