Cheers! Christmas is right around the corner and, if your family is anything like mine, you’re already looking forward to time spent together laughing, looking at old pictures, and watching the same Christmas movies you’ve watched every year. (Christmas Vacation, anyone?) If your family is like mine, there will also be cocktails…plenty. of. cocktails.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we’re a bunch of out-of-control lushes. Please don’t get the wrong impression. It’s just that we’re really fun. We had little kids in our family for a veryveryveryvery long time, so we are now getting to enjoy the splendors of an adult Christmas. We can stay up late, pour a few drinks and catch up on the details of each others’ lives that we’ve missed out on through the year.
Not everyone in my family enjoys bourbon like I do (I know) but that’s not going to stop me from making these my cocktail of choice. By muddling the cranberries and orange peels in a shaker, you get just the perfect hint of tartness. As with any drink, feel free to adjust amounts to suit your tastes. I tend to like my bourbon drinks a little less sweet and quite a bit stiffer, so I reduce the sugar called for in the original and up the bourbon quantity. I still add a bit of water because I find that it helps the overall smoothness of the drink. Whether you make this drink according to my adaptations or as written in the original recipe, be sure to enjoy it with friends and family who warm your heart.
adapted from Martha Stewart
16 fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tsp. sugar
4 dashes bitters (preferably Angostura for this drink)
2 (2-in.) strips orange peel, plus more for garnish.
5 oz. bourbon
1-2 TBSP water, optional
ice, for shaking and serving
1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle cranberries, sugar, bitters, and orange peel. Add bourbon and ice and shake vigorously. Taste and add water, if desired.
2. Strain cocktails into two glasses. Add 2-3 ice cubes to each glass. Garnish with orange twist, if desired.
Yield: 2 cocktails