Awhile back, King-Man's colleague Mary told me she often makes her own cranberry liqueur this time of year. She said that she loved having it for a festive holiday cocktail mixer and to give as gifts. I was intrigued and started reading recipes for making my own liqueur. This is something I'd never tried. Sounded fun.
Then I saw a recipe for cranberry liqueur along with a stunning photo from Sandie, a fellow blogger at ABloggableLife.com. (I shared her link with you a couple of weeks ago.) I had to try it. In fact, I did make up a batch of Sandie's recipe last week. It has a 3-week steep time, and mine is in the works. Can't wait to taste it. So far, it's lookin' good.
In the meantime, I discovered that the November issue of Cooking Light has a cranberry liqueur recipe that uses cranberry sauce (instead of fresh cranberries)--something many of us already have in our fridges this time of year. This recipe only has to steep for 4 days. So, I tweaked that recipe a tad and made some up to have ready in time for Thanksgiving. Delicious, beautiful, and festive.
Here's a photo of Emily (fiance of T-Man's buddy, James) who enjoyed some of the cranberry liqueur at our Thanksgiving table. We put 2 tablespoons of the liqueur in a glass, and then topped it off with champagne. Yummy. Yes, we had seconds. I'm not admitting to anything after that.
I'm sharing my version of a 4-day-steep cranberry liqueur recipe with you today.
Here are the step-by-step photos for Homemade Cranberry Liqueur:
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: water, vodka, whole-berry cranberry sauce, lime, sugar.
You can use canned cranberry sauce or make your own. Here's my cranberry sauce recipe, in case you need it. I made mine with orange juice instead of water:
Step 2. Make a simple sugar syrup. Add the sugar and water and heat it up on the stove top. Stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear, not cloudy. That's also the weather forecast.
Step 4. Zest a lime. I use a microplane. Add the lime zest to the jar, give it a stir, and let it cool completely. You don't want to add the vodka to hot liquid.
Step 5. Add the vodka and stir.
Step 6. Put the jar in a cool, dark place or the refrigerator for at least 4 days. Every day, flip it over or give it a stir.
Step 8. After at least 4 days, it's time to strain the solids from the liquids. Put a wire strainer on top of a bowl and line it with a 2-layer piece of cheesecloth.
Pour the contents of the jar into the strainer. You will have to do this in batches. It takes awhile for the liquid to run through to the bowl below. You can gently stir the mixture in the strainer and press it down gently to speed it along. But be patient. Let it drip.
Repeat the straining process until you have a clear, red liquid. The number of times you need to strain will vary depending on the size of the holes in the your strainer, and the weave of the cheesecloth. Mine was clear after the first time through the strainer.
Finished! Wasn't that easy? And look how beautiful the cranberry liqueur looks in these bottles. I got my hermetic top bottles at The Container Store--one of my favorite stores on the planet. You can use any kind of bottle or jar, as long as they have an air-tight top. Cork top bottles are not recommended, because the cork is porous and will allow the liquid to slowly evaporate.
Don't miss my post with Cranberry Liqueur Cocktail Recipes, it includes:
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Make it a yummy day!