I’m not sure how we’re already halfway through November, but here we are. And, since this recipe can only be made this time of year, I highly recommend that you get started on it stat!
This is a recipe that my mom used to make every year when I was growing up, and it has a special place in my heart. I guess that this is also where I confess that I also may or may not have gotten into the jar of infused cranberries with a spoon back in the day. My apologies mom!
There’s something so amazing about the bright tart flavor of the vodka infused cranberries, and the cranberry infused vodka is truly delicious in cocktails. The trick is that you start infusing your cranberry vodka mixture now, and then for the holidays you strain off the vodka and decant that in its own bottle. Then you take the reserved cranberries and scoop those into a separate jar. You can gift one or both of them, or keep them for yourself. I thought that since we’re all hunkered down for the holidays this season, it would be a very fun and welcomed gift to give, all packaged up in a pretty bottle.
And, beyond eating the infused cranberries with a spoon, they are incredible over ice cream, stirred into a cocktail soda, or sparkling water, or dolloped on top of pudding. It’s really up to your imagination.
So, here’s the best part of this recipe! There really isn’t a recipe, just a general blueprint on what you do.
Cranberry Infused Vodka
- Vodka: Start with your favorite vodka. It doesn’t need to be anything too fancy, as you are going to be adding fruit and sugar to it. There is approximately 3ish cups in a 750 mL bottle of vodka.
- Cranberries: Always use fresh, not frozen, as you don’t want any water in your mixture. For 1 bottle of vodka you can use one regular size bag of fresh cranberries from the grocery store. I usually use equal amount of cranberries, so about 3 cups cranberries and 3 cups vodka.
- Sugar: You will want to add some sugar to counteract the tartness of the cranberries. How much though is up to you. You can omit it, but I like to add a little. 1/4 cup is a good place to start. It also depends if you want to make a sweet liqueur or make a flavored vodka that you’ll mix in cocktails.
- Vanilla Bean: This is totally optional, but it is a delicious addition. If you don’t have one, don’t worry.
Here is a big tip too! To prevent the mixture from having any issues with spoilage, I like to run the jar and lid through the dishwasher before using. Also make sure to not double dip with a spoon if tasting the mixture. I speak from experience with this, as a few years ago I lost a huge crock of cherries in vodka. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but you can hedge your bet by following doing those few things. If the weather is hot where you live, refrigerating the mixture can help prevent that from happening too.
Enjoy, and let me know if you make it.
This is a recipe that my mom used to make every year. It’s a favorite around our house!
3 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups vodka
Coarsely pulse your cranberries in the food processor. Don’t over chop them!
In a large jar, combine the cranberries and vodka. Stir in the sugar. You can give it a taste and decide if you want to add any additional sugar. Stir well, cover with a lid and place in a cool spot. Give it a stir every 5 days or so for 2 to 4 weeks. If you have room in your refrigerator, you can store it in there too. Once it’s ready to go, strain the cranberries out and scoop into a jar. Pour the vodka into a clean bottle. Refrigerate both the cranberries and the infused vodka once it’s finished.