During the holiday season, a Vodka Cranberry Cocktail is the perfect way to relax while quenching your thirst for a tart and refreshing beverage.
Over the years my drinking habits have changed drastically. When I was younger, I drank like I was on a mission. Of course, at that time, I was on a mission to get as drunk as possible in the shortest amount of time. Meaning, I was not exactly a discerning drinker. As time has gone by, I began to realize that quality over quantity is a much better way to live.
Once I had that epiphany, I applied to all aspects of my life, included the enjoyment of adult beverages. Which brings me to today’s post. There are a lot of vodka cranberry cocktail recipes out there, and they go by many different names: Cape Cod, Cranberry and Vodka, the list goes on and on. With that being said, I decided to make a vodka cranberry drink that valued quality over quantity.
This recipe is pretty simple, but it does have one little tweak, that I think, makes it shine over all the other recipes. While it may not be the best cocktail around, it’s definitely in the running for top ten. The trick is in the syrup, which I will get to later. In the meantime, start thinking about what kind of vodka you will be using; because, once again quality over quantity has to be the main goal.
The first thing I like to make is the simple syrup. Traditionally that meant pulling out a pot, measuring water, waiting for it boil…You get the picture. However, we are going change things up a bit. There is no need for a pot or to even turn on your burners. Take your measuring cup of room temperature water and pour in the powdered sugar. It should begin to dissolve immediately. A few quick whisks and your simple syrup is ready for the mixture.
After you have put the water off to the side, take your lime and roll it against the counter a few times to soften it up. This process will make it easier to juice. Slice the lime in half and juice it using a palm juicer or you can always squeeze the lime over a bowl and use a spoon to fish out any seeds. Set the lime juice aside and get ready to start mixing your drink.
You will need a six-ounce martini or cocktail glass ready on the counter. In a cocktail shaker, measure out the cranberry juice, lime juice, vodka, and simple syrup. Seal the shaker and give it a good hard shake. This is usually the moment when I realize I have been moving my hips along with shaker…After five to seven seconds, pour the cocktail into a glass and enjoy. If you prefer a cold drink, drop in a few ice cubes to the shaker just before adding everything else, then give it a good shake.
You can garnish the cocktail with anything you like. Lime wedges, cranberries, a lime twist, go wild. I sometimes take a lime wedge and run it along the rim of the glass; then I dip the glass rim into a bowl of white sugar before I add the cocktail mix. It adds a little extra sweetness to the drink with every sip.
Used in this recipe:
- 1 cup of water
- 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
- 3 ounces of cranberry juice
- 1 1/2 ounces of vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces of simple syrup
- 1/2 ounce of lime juice (juice from 1/2 medium lime)
In a sealable container, combine water and powdered sugar. Whisk or seal container and shake, until sugar has dissolved and set aside. Juice a half of medium lime and set aside. In a cocktail shaker combine cranberry juice, vodka, simple syrup and lime juice. Shake vigorously for approximately ten seconds then pour into six ounce glass. Garnish with lime twist or fresh cranberries.
Warm water from your kitchen water spigot is warm enough to dissolve the powdered sugar for the simple syrup.