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Cranberry with a Kick


Post by community member:

Everyone loves a good drink–teas, coffees, hot cocoas. Some even like a little happy added in.

Homemade infused vodkas make great hostess gifts at Christmas time…or for that person that just loves unique drinks. I have one of those people in my family–the same one with expensive frappacino tastes. While I could very well head to the local party store and pick up a bottle of almost any flavor there is, everyone knows it tastes better when you make it yourself!

This is actually a recipe we used when I was in college. I don’t recall seeing the flavored vodkas on the shelves back then…or they may just have been on a shelf further up than I could afford. It’s super simple. Almost as simple as infusing vodka with vanilla beans–homemade vanilla extract.

How to make Cranberry Vanilla Vodka: Printable

Chop 1 pound of fresh cranberries.

In pan on medium heat, add the cranberries, 1 cup sugar, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 split vanilla bean. Heat until sugar is melted and it begins to boil (about 3-4 minutes).

Pour the cranberry mixture into a large jar. I used a 1/2 gallon pickle jar.

Pour a fifth (750 mL) of vodka over top. Any brand/type of vodka will work. My rule of thumb–if you wouldn’t drink it in your drink, don’t infuse it!

Stir and cover. Set aside in the pantry.

It is such a beautiful shade of red with bits of vanilla floating around.

Give it a swirl every day for a week. I do sometimes leave it for 2 weeks, depending on my time limits.

After it’s infused, strain through cheesecloth, then a coffee filter. (I’m not positive, but I’m sure I can find something to do with those cranberries after they’re strained. I’ll keep you posted!)

Store in the refrigerator.

Since I am gifting this and the vodka came in a plastic bottle, I’m recycling. I cleaned an empty rum bottle well and removed all the stickers. With my handydandy PhotoShop (I love PhotoShop!), I created my own label.

It’s sitting ready. Just waiting.

Edit 12/15/11: It’s done and funneled into the gift bottle! See The Week of Waiting is Over.

Cindy blogs at Our Life Simplified.

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 | Permalink  

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7 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 12-7

    I just started a batch of raspberry infused vodka, and was planning to attempt cranberries tonight ūüôā

    The only differences with the raspberries is I don’t add sugar or break up the berries. The whole raspberries get added to glasses of champagne, while the infused vodka can flavor the champagne as well as a lot of other drinks!

  2. 12-7

    If it was me? I’d probably make a dense vanilla cake (like a pound cake without all the eggs) and serve it with whipped cream and the fruit, maybe chocolate shavings or mint? Or perhaps the fruit and a thin chocolate sauce?

    You could have a lot of fun figuring that out!


  3. 12-7


    You are amazing. What don’t you know how to do? I was just trying to figure out a few other gifts for my kids. I have a feeling they would love this. Thanks for the great idea.

    Any chance you’ll post on using photoshop?

    Also, if you’d like to do a little more research on infused liquids I volunteer to help with the research!

  4. 12-7

    Another great gift idea. Years ago I remember being given Boggs Cranberry Liqueur, which was very pleasant and came in a pretty bottle, but they don’t make it any more.

    I’m thinking that the leftover infused cranberries might be good in cranberry bread. Or maybe sweetened and mixed with cream cheese for a party spread. Or mixed with a ground orange and sugar to make and adults-only cranberry relish with a kick. Or what about adding some to stock, along with some onion, garlic, and ginger (and maybe some orange zest?), and using it to braise chicken? Just brainstorming, of course, since I haven’t tasted them.

  5. 12-7

    My fevered little brain was just thinking that if you used tequila instead of vodka in this recipe, you could use it to make cranberry margaritas.

  6. 12-15

    Cindy, thaty leftover cranberry mash would work well in a quick bread!

  7. 12-31

    Pour those left over cranberries over ice cream, light with a match and serve flaming!

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