Oh hey there delicious cocktail. While I call this a spiced cranberry bourbon cocktail it can also be called Christmas in a glass. Last year, I had a delicious spiced cranberry cocktail at Mozza and I had to figure out how to recreate it. So I played around with it and this is what I came up with. It is delicious and flavorful and, surprisingly, more steps than I usually do for a recipe. But it must be done to get that full flavor. I love the vibrant color and the yummy, yummy flavor.
One thing I like to do when infusing things with cinnamon is to give the sticks a little whack with the back of the knife to open them up. Then I just scoop up the pieces and dust and put them wherever they need to know. I feel like it helps to open up the flavors a little bit more. And its fun to smash them. Lay the cinnamon sticks as flat as you can, lay your knife flat on top and then give it a whack with the heel of your hand. Take care not to be near the blade. Losing your hand around the holidays would not be cool.
Add your flavor agents to your sauce pot and then add in your bottle of cranberry juice. Let the mixture simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. It will reduce down a bit but does not become syrupy. What I love about this is that once this jazzed up cranberry juice is made, you can easily put together cocktails for the next few weeks. Or have a big batch ready to make them for a party.
Once the cranberry juice mixture has simmered and cooled, strain it in to decorative bottles or put it back in to the cleaned, original cranberry juice bottle. Then you just need to grab a few more ingredients to put the drink together. Bourbon. Ginger beer and fresh nutmeg. Yum.
These bottles of spiced cranberry juice would be a great gift idea. Use a cute bottle like the one above, and then provide the bottle of cranberry juice along with the recipe on a cute card and even a bottle of bourbon and some ginger beer. You could totally wrap that up all cute in a basket with holiday cheer.
- Spiced Cranberry Juice
- 1 bottle 64 oz. Cranberry Juice (I like Langers best)
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in to large chunks
- 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked
- ¾ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- For the Cocktail:
- 3 oz spiced cranberry juice (recipe above)
- 1.5 oz Bourbon
- 3 oz. Ginger Beer
- In a saucepan, add cranberry juice, ginger, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.
- Simmer on medium heat for about 45 minutes.
- The juice will reduce a little bit but not become syrupy.
- Once cooled, strain with cheesecloth or a coffee filter in to a container.
- For cocktail:
- Add spiced cranberry juice and Bourbon to a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake well.
- Strain in to a glass with ice.
- Top with 3 oz. of ginger beer and give a quick stir.
- Grate fresh nutmeg on top of each cocktail.
- Recipe above makes approximately 2 cocktails depending on your size of glass.