I need a drink. Yes, it has been awhile since I’ve featured a cocktail in this bloggie thingamabob and you must know it isn’t because I’ve stopped drinking! Oh no. Our summer cocktail season was a real bust around here wasn’t it?In fact, it barely got off the ground after we kicked it off with our Mojito feature. The main reason for this was that it rarely ever got warm enough around here to crave a refreshing libation. A true shame given I had several such treats lined up for you, But, alas, our weather would just not cooperate.
But now the holiday season is in high gear (I spent all day at the mall today and plan to head back in just a few minutes) and we just got off a short round of record cold spells. So if cold weather doesn’t inspire an appropriate drinkiepoo then surely our increased holiday related anxiety does? I just noticed that its been pretty much French Dorie this and French Dorie that around here. (Cocktail nuts doesn’t really feel much like French food does it? Whats up with that?) It only seems proper and polite of me to offer you a thematic winter cocktail while we ponder such things. And as far as looks go, they don’t come any more Christmas-y than this one! There is no better antidote to francophilia than a cocktail because it is one of the few things the French just don’t do all that well. (Ever order a martini in Paris? Blech.)
Even given its near cocktail perfection in its pure form, the mojito is still fertile ground for adapting and tinkering. I covered this classic back in June and have been mad for them ever since. The herb guy at the farmer’s market here is always quite generous with mint as are the Persian markets that I find myself in frequently and I hate to let it go to waste. So, doing all I can to avoid waste (and thereby contribute to a greener planet) I turned to mojitos . The things I sacrifice for the sake ecology! One night, saddened by the discovery of an empty rum bottle and yet still desiring to do my part for a green earth, the Watermelon Mojarita was born and we moved the party to Tequila Mexico.
Around the ‘net I’ve seen several attempts at winterizing this drink but the best by far goes to Danny Meyer’s version served every season at his Gramercy Tavern in NYC. You can expect any cocktail you get at any one of his restaurants to be near perfection and this one truly is as well. Before Thanksgiving I picked up an extra bag of fresh cranberries just so I could make his “druken cranberries” garnish for this winter treat. The cranberries will stay kept in a Ball jar in the fridge for a couple weeks and even though they are rum based you can pop them into just about any festive holiday cocktail garnish during the season.
This is what you will need:
- 1 teaspoons drunken cranberries(see below for instructions and ingredients on drunken cranberries)
- 2 lime wedges
- 8 sprigs mint
- 2.5 oz dark rum
- Simple Syrup (1 cup sugar/1 cup water)
- 1.5 cups 2 cinnamon sticks
- zest from one orange
- 2 cups cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups rum, pref white
This is how you make it:
- Fill rocks glass.
- Muddle 1 teaspoon cranberries, 2 teaspoons liquid, lime wedges and mint in cocktail shaker.
- Add rum and crushed ice.
- Shake, strain into glass.
- Garnish with 1 teasp cranberries and mint.
- In saucepan simmer syrup, cinnamon and orange zest.
- Add cranberries and cook 1 minute until skins split.
- Off heat, cool.
- Strain liquid into jar.
- Add cranberries, removing cinnamon and orange.
- Add rum.
- Make sure covered.
- Chill for up to 3 weeks