Have a cup of cheer (or two). Use the excuse to dress up a special spot in your home for mixing and mingling. Showcase fun glassware, barware and all of those great craft spirits! Cocktail napkins, coasters and bar towels in festive colors will amp up the merry to 11.
Set the scene, stock the pantry and frig with twists, garnishes and mixers, and keep a handy list of go-to drinks to stir up. We love Punch’s Cocktail Recipe Search.
I am quite smitten with these sugared cranberries and can’t wait to make a few spirits bright with them!
And I might have to try making these beautiful gems for the bar...
addictive candied cranberries
2 cup sugar
2 cups water + 1 cup sugar for coating
2 cups cranberries, rinsed and picked over
first, make a simple syrup: combine the 2 cups sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. cook for 10 minutes, until a part of the water is dissolved. remove from the heat and let cool for a moment. stir the cranberries in the syrup (careful, if the syrup is too hot they will crack open!). they need to soak overnight, and that's all you've got to do. when cool, cover with a lid and leave to candy (is that even a verb? it must be...) overnight in the fridge. the next day, strain (keep the syrup if you like, it's got a nice taste of cranberry *surprise*) and roll in the rest of the sugar to coat completely.
enjoy as a snack, as a garnish for porridge (i tried it, it's heavenly) or pierce onto some skewers to use for drinks. options are limitless. your vitamin c household will thank you - your sugar levels... maybe not so much. but everyone knows sugar level is a bitch.
note on storage: i did find several sources saying that those candies will last for a few days, only. well, honestly, it's a surprise if they last longer in your house, in mine they sure didn't... but if you want to store them, make sure you cover them in enough sugar (maybe pour some over it) so that the sugar can soak up the excess humidity. store in an airtight container. i kept them in the fridge, but i rather think a cool, dry space would be better.