I love making liqueurs and regularly have a batch or two of different flavours on the go!
For Christmas time I like to make Cranberry Gin Liqueur. It’s really simple to make and so delicious. I made this batch on Halloween and put it away for two months, usually I like to leave my liqueurs for three months but I started a little late this year. Today I decided to bottle my gin so we can enjoy it at Christmas.
I didn’t have as many fresh cranberries as I normally have and so my gin this year is a pretty pink colour instead of the deep ruby red it normally is. I also substituted my usual orange rind for lime since that was what I had in the fridge at the time and I am happy to report it worked out well regardless!
If you’d like to have a go at making a Festive Cranberry Gin, here’s my recipe:
FESTIVE CRANBERRY GIN
- 1 litre gin
- 300g sugar
- 300g fresh cranberries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- Rind of one orange
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Put all ingredients in a large container with a lid
- Pour in the gin
- Place the lid securely on the container
- Gently tip the container back and forth to mix the sugar
- Place in a dark, dry cupboard for three months
- Now and again shake the container gently to make sure the sugar dissolves fully
- Once ready, strain the mixture into a clean/sanitized bottle(s)
Now, what to do with the boozy fruit when the liqueur is ready …? I’m so glad you asked!
I don’t like to waste the boozy fruit. If the liqueur I’m making is berries such as cranberries or blueberries and therefore keeps its shape well, I usually coat them in melted dark chocolate and set them in mini cupcake cases. While they are still warm, I like to add sprinkles or gourmet salt granules (wine salt such as merlot is nice) them pop them in the fridge to harden before transferring them to tins.
If the fruit is soft like plum, pear or rhubarb, then I blitz it in the blender until it’s pulped. I then make some simple syrup and combine the syrup and the fruit pulp together and keep it in a bottle in the fridge for adding to martini’s or other cocktails.
But this year I didn’t have a lot of booze soaked cranberries from my gin batch and so I decided to make a Spicy Cranberry Gin Sauce for Christmas dinner instead.
I found a very basic Cranberry Sauce recipe online and added my own twist. The original recipe calls for water but I used orange juice instead to make it more festive. If you want to do that, just remember that the orange juice also adds a little sweetness so you might want to reduce the amount of sugar you use. I also added my own spices as I like my Cranberry Sauce spicy! Obviously, you can add them as a pinch to suit your own taste.
As I mentioned already, I was limited by the amount of gin soaked cranberries I had, so I measured their weight and went with one quarter of the recipe noted below apart from the spices which were a half teaspoon of each.
This is another easy and quick recipe. Basically, it took about 5 minutes to gather the ingredients and 10 minutes cooking time. If you follow the quantities in the recipe below, you can expect a yield of approximately 2¼ cups.
SPICY CRANBERRY GIN SAUCE
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- 1 cup (250ml) water (orange or mix of both)
- 4 cups (one 12-ounce/340g package) fresh or frozen cranberries
- Spices (½ tsp): cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili flakes, fresh grated ginger
- Rinse the cranberries and discard any that are damaged
- Put the water (orange juice in my case) and sugar in a medium saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil
- Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a rolling boil
- Add the cranberries and spices to the pot and return to a boil
- Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the cranberries have burst
- Remove from heat and pour the sauce into sterilized jars
- Let cool completely at room temperature, then transfer the jar to the fridge
- The cranberry sauce will continue to thicken as it cools
- Leftover cranberry sauce can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months
Make it plain or add whatever spices take your fancy.