I made sugared cranberries for a Christmas Day salad that tasted like inverted Sour Patch Kids (i.e., delicious and painful).
While they are certainly worth recreating, I thought they seemed too holly and jolly for poor, dispiriting January.
The syrup they left behind, however, turns out to be the gift that keeps on giving--adding a belated fa la la la la to everything from ginger tea to my seasonal take on a champagne cocktail. It also lent its festive finesse to some candied pecans.
And if you're more tempted by this vessel's previous inhabitant? Well, there's that too.
Wintry Champagne Cocktail
In a flute, add 3 to 5 dashes of grapefruit bitters, 1 ounce of cranberry simple syrup*, and 1 ounce of St-Germain. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a few of the sacrificial cranberries.
*Cranberry Simple Syrup
Yields one cup
- 1 cup fresh cranberries, picked over and rinsed
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Place cranberries in a small, heat-resistant bowl.
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and the water over medium high heat. Bring the water to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before pouring the warm syrup over the cranberries. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill (you and the syrup) for between four and 24 hours.
Strain syrup into a lidded container and keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.