On Sunday, I’ll be traveling down to Baltimore for one of my favorite holiday traditions – watching my niece dance in her final performance of "The Nutcracker" for the season. After the performance, family and friends will gather for dinner, and Cranberry Prosecco Cocktails will be one of my contributions to the festivities.

I know I’ve been a little heavily focused on cranberry beverages this season, so this will probably be my last one for some time. It’s a good one to end on because it will work for holiday dinners and brunches as well as make a special drink to toast the New Year with.

Cranberry Simple Syrup

To make the cocktail, you need to first make a cranberry simple syrup. It’s easy to make and can (and should) be made hours or days ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a heavy bottomed pot and stir. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat.
  4. With a potato masher, give the mixture about 10 good mashes. You want to release some of the juice and color from the cranberries.
  5. Put a lid on the pot and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  6. Take the lid off and allow the mixture to cool.
  7. Using a fine mesh sieve, strain the mixture three or four times. (If you want to use cheese cloth in your sieve to get all the little bits out, you can, but I don’t think it’s necessary.)
  8. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator for two weeks.
Cranberry Prosecco

This drink couldn’t be easier to assemble once you have the cranberry simple syrup made.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz cranberry simple syrup
  • 5 oz Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
  • fresh cranberries for garnish
Directions
  1. In a glass of your choice (Champagne flute, wine glass, martini glass), add 1/2 ounce of cranberry simple syrup and top with chilled prosecco.
  2. Add three fresh cranberries as a garnish.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.