This Leftover Cranberry Sauce Spritz is a fun way to repurpose that cranberry sauce you all have sitting in your fridge after Thanksgiving. While no two cranberry sauces are the same, any leftover cranberry sauce will lend a welcome sweet and tart flavor to a spritzy cocktail. The gist here is to mix up cranberry sauce with your alcohol of choice in a cocktail shaker, pour it into a glass, and top with citrus sparkling water. Like bitters, Aperol, or Campari? Add a splash! Finish with additional fresh citrus juice if desired, and garnish with citrus slices and fresh herb sprigs. Trust me on the herbs in a cocktail. Fresh basil, mint, thyme, or rosemary sprigs look beautiful, and add the most delicious aromatic before you take a sip!
I’m sharing a recipe below with specific measurements as a guide for one drink below but it’d be really easy to scale this up for a batch of pitcher cocktails. Follow the recipe below or if you prefer to eyeball it, keep the following ratio in mind: 2-3 parts cranberry sauce, 4 parts alcohol, 4 parts sparkling water, plus freshly squeezed citrus to finish. I love cara cara or blood oranges, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, or lime. If you like a stronger drink, add more alcohol. If you prefer a more subtle drink, add more sparkling water! Omit the alcohol to make it a mocktail. Cheers!
- 2-3 Tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
- 2 Ounces (or 4 tablespoons) chilled alcohol of choice, preferably Gin, Tequila Blanco, or Vodka
- 2 Ounces (or 4 tablespoons) citrus or sparkling water
- Fresh citrus slices - my favorites are: cara cara oranges, blood oranges, grapefuit, meyer lemon, lemon, lime.
- Optional - splash of Aperol, Campari, or your favorite bitters
- Optional garnish - a fresh herb! I love fresh sprigs of basil, mint, thyme, or rosemary.
- In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine cranberry sauce and alochol of choice. Shake until very well chilled, and pour into a tall glass with ice (strain if desired - I don't mind the texture and don't strain).
- Squeeze a bit fresh citrus in drink and leave the citrus slice or wedge in drink for garnish.
- Garnish with fresh herb sprigs if desired.
A FEW NOTES ON RIFFS:
- The stiff cocktail: If you prefer a stronger drink, add more alcohol! Simple as that.
- The subtle cocktail: If you prefer a subtle alcohol flavor, add more sparkling water and freshly squeezed citrus juice. And/Or reduce the amount of alcohol to suit your preference.
- The mocktail: Omit the alcohol and add more sparkling water and freshly squeezed citrus juice.
- The garnishes: Use fresh citrus and herbs as noted in the recipe, but get creative! Cinnamon sticks, candied or fresh ginger, and citrus peels would all be fabulous.
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