Did you know that cranberries are one of few fruits native to North America? And that only five states grow the majority of cranberries in our country — Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington and my home state of New Jersey? Just a little cranberry trivia for you.
Cranberries are also a staple for most Thanksgiving dinners and many Christmas dinners. I’m going to be bringing you several cranberry recipes over the next couple of weeks since they are in season (here in New Jersey, they are being harvested right now) and they are such a common food of the holiday season.
First up, is cranberry-infused vodka. I made this one year for our annual neighborhood Christmas party, and put it out with lots of different mixers to let people create their own drinks from it. It’s something that needs to be started at least a week before you want to serve it.
It’s really quite easy, and your guests will be impressed. It also makes a great do-it-yourself gift for the holidays. This could easily be done with all organic ingredients.
- 12 oz. fresh cranberries (can substitute frozen, but fresh is best)
- 1 cup of sugar (go for raw cane or organic if you can)
- 750 ml bottle of vodka (I really like Blue Ice American Organic Wheat Vodka)
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Total time: 15 min
In a saucepan, simmer sugar and cranberries together until sugar dissolves and gets syrupy but cranberries are still fairly firm.
Put cranberry mixture in clean, sterile bottle. Pour vodka over top.
Let sit in a cool place for at least a week.
Strain, put in a sealed container and keep in the refrigerator until you’re ready.
Use in any recipe that calls for cranberry vodka or create your own.
Makes 1 bottle of vodka