Sip This: Cranberry Rose Cocktail

November 26, 2018Recipes

To most of us, packages of fresh cranberries in markets this time of year mean cranberry sauce. To me, they say it’s time to make a key ingredient for my favorite seasonal cocktail: the Cranberry Rose.

It’s a riff on the traditional Jack Rose, a simple cocktail made with applejack brandy, lemon juice and grenadine. It’s an old-fashioned sipper that was popular in the ’20s and ’30s — it even gets a mention in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises).

This variation was borne out of some recipe testing last year that left me with extra cranberry syrup, which seemed a natural substitute for grenadine. And along with applejack brandy, which dates back to colonial New Jersey, it makes for a truly all-American seasonal cocktail. For parties you can scale up a big batch of the mix to shake and serve on demand.

The syrup comes from The Cranberry Cookbook by Sally Pasley Vargas. It’s a great mixer for all kinds of cocktails, from this simple riff on a Jack Rose to margaritas to a seasonal French 75.

Cranberry Rose Cocktail

Cranberry Rose Cocktail

1¼ cups water
1¼ cups sugar
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1 ½ ounces applejack brandy (or Calvados)
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce cranberry syrup
Lemon twist

Syrup: Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cranberries, and simmer 10 minutes or until the berries soften and pop. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean jar, pressing the cranberries to extract as much juice as possible. Refrigerate up to 1 month. (Makes about 1 ¾ cups.)

Cocktail: Combine the brandy, lemon juice and syrup in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake 10 seconds and strain into a chilled martini, coupe or Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a lemon twist and, if desired, skewered cranberries.

Makes 1 cocktail.


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