2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
Thin strips of zest from ½ lemon
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
Pinch of coarse salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups soda water *


Preheat oven to 176 degrees. Put cranberries into a large, high-sided skillet and set aside. 

Bring syrup, wine, brown sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, peppercorns, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking occasionally.

Pour over cranberries. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a bowl; cover with 1 cup cooking liquid. Let cool completely.

Bring ½ cup cooking liquid and the granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. 

Reduce heat to low; simmer until liquid has reduced and barely coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; let cool completely. 

Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days.

Reserve 40 cranberries. Puree remaining cranberries and liquid in a blender.

To serve, place 10 reserved cranberries on each of 4 decorative skewers. 

Pour ¼ cup puree and ¼ cup syrup into each of four 12-ounce glasses; stir to combine. Add skewers, and fill glasses with ice. 

Top with soda water and serve.

Makes 4 cocktails

With the month of December quickly approaching, I’m starting to get in the Holiday spirit. Tonight I took a break from studying, threw on some Frank Sinatra Christmas tunes, turned on my Christmas tree lights, and decided to sew a skirt. What a better night than to experiment with a new “holiday” drink too? Using leftover cranberries, this is the perfect concoction for tonight.

// Cranberry Fizz

// Open a bottle of your favorite champagne, prosecco, cava, etc. (They even make single serving bottles for those like me who can’t drink a full bottle of sparkly by herself in one night.)

// Add one spoonful of cranberry apple syrup (recipe below.)

// Sip while enjoying your favorite holiday music and doing crafts.

// Enjoy!

// Cranberry Apple Syrup

// (Adapted from: Fabtastic Eats)

// Pulse 2 cups of cranberries in a food processor (optional).

// Put in a sauce pan on medium heat.

// Add one large peeled, cored, and cubed apple (I used an ambrosia for its sweetness and tart notes).

// Add a little more than ½ teaspoon fresh orange zest.

// Add ½ cup white sugar.

// Add ¾ cup of apple cider.

// Add ½ cup water.

// Stir occasionally and simmer until apples become soft.

// Remove from heat and blend with a submersible blender until smooth. (You can also allow the mixture to cool and then use a blender or food processor).

// Serve in the drink above, over pancakes, on top of goat cheese, over turkey leftovers, etc.

// Enjoy!