Oranges, rosemary and cranberries: the flavors of the winter holidays. Because cranberries sometimes get a bad rap for being useless outside of cranberry sauce served on Thanksgiving, I’m a little bit in defensive about the sour little guys. (My mother’s cranberry sauce converts cranberry sauce haters into believers each year and is delicious served with a roasted chicken or any other savory meat dish that could benefit from a spicy, tangy zip on the side.) But what if you’ve got a bag of cranberries in your freezer, leftover from Thanksgiving? These two cocktails from State of Grace and Laurie Harvey of State Fare are a keen way to use up Massachusettes’ best-known fruit between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Classic Poinsettia Cocktail State of Grace
Method: Mix the infused vodka and one bar spoon (about 1¼ teaspoon) cranberry syrup together in a flute or coupe glass. Top with cava and add poached cranberries to garnish. Remaining poached cranberries make for a great addition to blueberry muffins. Remaining infused vodka and poached cranberries together make a fabulous holiday version of a Cape Cod. Alternatively, use a drizzle of cranberry syrup and leftover poached cranberries in pancakes.
Cranberry Suprise State Fare
1½ oz. Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka
¾ oz. Elizabeth Allspice
1 oz. cranberry cordial*
½ oz. fresh lime juice
sprig of rosemary and fresh cranberries, for garnish
Method: Put everything into a blender (except garnish) with one large cup of ice and blend until just smooth. Garnish.
*Cranberry Cordial Syrup
one five-pound bag of fresh cranberries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
5 cinnamon sticks
5 allspice berries
½ teaspoon vanilla
Method: Over medium heat, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and allow to boil. While berries pop and sugar melts, stir well. Continue to check the mixture and stir occasionally for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain well into a jar.