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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Autumn Cranberry Old Fashioned

Autumn Cranberry Old Fashioned

My parents and sister recently had cocktails at Mondo, Susan Spicer's restaurant in Lakeview, New Orleans. They raved about a Cranberry-Satsuma Old Fashioned that they wanted to recreate at home. Since I wanted to embrace some holiday flavors in the coming weeks, I thought it was an appropriate challenge.

A minor obstacle was that the Whole Foods in my neighborhood didn't have satsumas. They did, however, have fruits they called "autumn honey tangerines," which sounded season-appropriate and very amenable to inclusion in a cocktail. They're sweet and have a wonderful flavor. Satsumas or even regular oranges would also do nicely.

Autumn Cranberry Old Fashioned

I made a cranberry syrup to replace my usual simple syrup and brandied cherry syrup, as well as some sugared cranberries for a garnish. I popped in a cinnamon stick to cement the holiday vibe. All in all, I'm quite pleased with the finished product. The differences from a traditional Old Fashioned are subtle but festive: flavor and bitterness from the cranberries and a hint of spice from the cinnamon. And the sugared cranberries are really one of the prettiest garnishes I've made so far.

Autumn Cranberry Old Fashioned

Autumn Cranberry Old Fashioned

2.5 oz. bourbon (I used Bulleit)
1 tsp. cranberry simple syrup*
5-6 fresh cranberries
2 slices autumn tangerine or satsuma
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Sugared cranberries* and cinnamon stick to garnish

Muddle tangerine or satsuma and fresh cranberries in the bottom of an old fashioned glass. Add cranberry simple syrup, bitters, and bourbon. Stir briefly and add one large ice cube. Garnish with sugared cranberries on a pick and a cinnamon stick.

*You can make the sugared cranberry garnish and the cranberry simple syrup together. Combine 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar and simmer to dissolve the sugar. Add about 1/2 cup cranberries. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain, reserving both the cranberries and the syrup. Arrange half of the cranberries on parchment paper on a wire cooling rack and let sit for one hour; these will be your sugared cranberries. Return the rest to the pot with the syrup and muddle. Let sit for another 10-20 minutes and strain again, discarding the muddled berries. Once an hour has passed, pour 1/4 cup sugar onto a plate and roll the remaining cranberries in it to coat.

Sugared cranberry recipe from Vanilla and Bean.

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