To many, 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. The Jack Rose is 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.