This Holiday Spiced Cranberry Cocktail can be made non-alcoholic or spiked with rum! It is made with real cranberries and infused with orange, cinnamon, clove, and allspice.
My favorite holiday time drink will forever be Hot Spiced Wine. It is a family tradition and one that I look forward to every year. A big pot of warm and spicy wine to curl up with by the fire is some kinda paradise. Since I found out I am pregnant, my beloved drink of choice has been off the table. Cue the idea for this Holiday Spiced Cranberry Cocktail.
I wanted that same warm and comforting drink sans alcohol. It needed to be spicy, warm, and both sweet and tart. This cocktail doesn’t disappoint! It is perfect on its own for anyone who doesn’t drink, but you can jazz it up with a shot or two of rum and whoa nelly, we have a holiday cocktail to remember!
It all starts with fresh (or frozen) cranberries. Don’t even think about reaching for a bottle of cranberry juice. Fresh cranberries have a more complex flavor. Their tannic and sour flavors haven’t yet been blasted away with sugar. And these delicate flavors are exactly what we need to create a convincing “cocktail”.
When our cranberry mixture gets warmed up with spices and a touch of real maple, it will transform into a deep red, sweet, and complex drink that tastes surprisingly like hot spiced wine!
Once you have your Holiday Spiced Cranberry Cocktail made, you can keep it warm in the crockpot. It will stay the perfect serving temperature all afternoon without any extra effort. A party dream come true.
I lean towards serving this cocktail warm, with a shot of rum- if I am really dreaming! But my husband mentioned that he would love this chilled with a shot of vodka, which hello…. sounds amazing! All you non-pregnant friends, try both versions and report back!
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 6 cups water
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 8 whole allspice berries
- 4 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 strips orange zest
- 1 star anise
Add the cranberries and water to a blender. Blend on high until the cranberries are pulverized and well mixed into the water. Pour into a Dutch oven and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 60 minutes. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and discard the pulp and spices. Serve warm.