Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Drinks: Cranberry Cobbler

Fall has finally arrived here in the Midwest and along with it all of the things that make this such a great season.  With the air being a little cooler and crisper than it was a month ago, it's a great time to break out your sweaters, jackets, and cooler weather food and drink recipes.  Since it's not quite hot toddy weather yet, I am not going to jump all the way to snowstorm winter night drinks.  This first recipe is something I tried for the first time recently and while it doesn't have the same warming affect as some classic hot cocktails, it combines a lot of great fall flavors in something still pretty light and crisp.  So enjoy the first installation of our fall food and drink series.


Cranberry Cobbler
recipe courtesy of epicurious.com

ingredients
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 orange, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups London dry gin (such as Beefeater or Tanqueray)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon off-dry Sherry (such as Lustau East India Solera)
  • 6 mint sprigs
preparation
Bring sugar and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour off all but 1 cup simple syrup; refrigerate remaining syrup for another use.
Heat syrup in pan almost to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Add cranberries and simmer until they just begin to burst, 2-3 minutes. Let cool in syrup.

Place 2 tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher. Add lemon wedges and orange slices. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash fruit. Stir in gin and Sherry. 

Let steep for 5 minutes.

Strain into a medium pitcher. Fill 3 glasses with crushed ice. Pour half of mixture into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice; shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into prepared glasses, then mound with more crushed ice. Garnish each with a mint sprig and 3 cranberries. Repeat to make 3 more cocktails.


Make it a Mocktail: Omit gin and Sherry and add 1/4 cup tonic or spicy ginger ale.

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