Make some simple cranberry syrup for your cocktails.
Cranberry is one of the signature flavors of traditional American holidays, and adding it to your drinks can be a nice change of pace from the cranberry dish that aunt Nancy makes every year.
It is super simple to make.
Make a simple syrup just as you normally would (with equal parts water and sugar), but add some cranberries and let it simmer for 15 minutes before straining it. THAT’S IT.
Unlike with other syrups where you macerate the fruit with and sugar (like raspberry or banana), cranberries have a strong outside wall that does not allow them to break down quite as well with maceration. Also, cooked cranberries are much more jammy and flavorful than fresh ones, so the cooking down of the fruit makes a better tasting syrup in this case.
A few notes on cranberry syrup
Almost every time that I make a simple fruit forward syrup I use cane sugar.
It adds its own mild interest to the finished product that I like, plus it is less processed than its’ more common white counterpart. If you only have white sugar though, by all means use that.
As for the cranberries you can use fresh or frozen for the same final syrup.
And last, don’t burn it.
Simmer it gently with a lid to draw out the flavor from the berries. If you rip the heat all the way up and get it boiling the sugar can create little crystals and if it goes too far it can begin to turn into more of a cranberry jam.
It’s a simple one that can be added to all sorts of different cocktails so experiment with it!
You could also mess around with adding different flavors right into the syrup. Some things that go really nicely with cranberry that you might want to try: citrus zest, cloves, thyme and rosemary. You could also add some darker sugars for a more full flavored syrup.
NOTE: cranberries have strong gelling properties! Often as it sits in the fridge it will set up a bit. Just give it a good hard shake and use it in drinks just as you normally would.
Cranberry Syrup Recipe
- 150 grams Cane Sugar - (about 3/4 cup)
- 150 `grams Water - (about 3/4 cup)
- 125 grams Cranberries - (about 1 1/2 cups)
- pinch Salt
- Add everything to a small saucepan.
- Place over medium heat until it simmers, then leave it gently bubbling with a lid for 15 minutes. (do not boil).
- Strain into a clean storage container with a splash of neutral spirit (optional).