This drink, from Nathaniel Smith of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, hits all the right holiday notes: simmered tart cranberries, toasty spices, some piney gin, and a topper of bubbly. It's ideal for batching in advance of a party. The cranberry cordial can be made up to several weeks ahead, and the cocktail mix can be combined an hour or two before your guests arrive.
For the Spiced Cranberry Cordial:
3 stick cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 whole star anise pods
5 cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 cup (240ml) water
2 cups (400g) sugar
Peel of one orange (use a vegetable peeler to remove zest only)
2 cups (225g) cranberries
1 cup (240ml) fresh juice from about 8 limes
3/4 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
For the Cocktail Mix (8 Servings):
1 cup (240ml) Spiced Cranberry Cordial (see note)
1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed juice from 2 pink grapefruits
1 1/2 cups (360ml) London Dry gin
1 bottle (750ml) chilled sparkling wine, to top
Fresh cranberries threaded on cocktail picks, for garnish
For the Spiced Cranberry Cordial: Add cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, and cloves to a saucepan and toast over medium heat, shaking pan frequently, until fragrant; make sure not to let them burn. Add water, sugar, orange peel, cranberries, lime juice, and salt and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer and cook, using a wooden spoon to smash fruit against side of pan, until all of the cranberries have popped. Remove from heat and let cool completely, 1 to 2 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a resealable container. Cordial can be kept up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
For the Cocktail Mix: Up to 2 hours before serving, mix cordial, grapefruit juice, and gin in a pitcher, bottle, or resealable container. Use immediately or store up to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Cocktail mix makes 8 servings; feel free to double the recipe.
For Each Cocktail: Fill a Collins glass with ice and add 3 1/2 ounces (105ml) Cocktail Mix and 2 ounces (60ml) chilled sparkling wine. Stir gently and garnish with skewered cranberries.
Fine-mesh strainer, resealable container
The cranberry cordial recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups (600ml), so you can double the cocktail mix recipe if you're expecting a large group. Extra cranberry cordial is also nice with club soda and a squeeze of orange or grapefruit.
This Recipe Appears In
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 28g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 22g|
|Vitamin C 18mg||89%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|