A Minnesota Good-Bye (Cranberry French 75) Recipe

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Vicky Wasik

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.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Serves: 8 servings

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Ingredients

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

To Serve:

  • 1 bottle (750ml) chilled sparkling wine, to top

  • Fresh cranberries threaded on cocktail picks, for garnish

Directions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Special equipment

Fine-mesh strainer, resealable container

Notes

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.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
254 Calories
0g Fat
28g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 254
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 146mg 3%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)