Thirsty Thanksgiving: Cranberry Mint Julep

Cranberry-Mint-Julep-cocktail

It’s Thanksgiving Week!

Kitchens everywhere are filled with busy chefs and cooks preparing delicious meals.  Fridges and freezers are packed with all sorts of goodies.  And people from all over are flying and driving to gather with loved ones.

I have always looked forward to Thanksgiving.  Not necessarily for all the food, but for the company of friends and family.  For this year’s holiday season, I will be serving this cranberry cocktail inspired by a classic favorite- the mint julep.  I love, love, love mint juleps.  Asides from iced tea and lemonades, nothing cools me down faster in the summer than frosty glass of mint julep.

Sure, it may be cold (rainy/snowy) outside, but a mug of this cranberry mint julep will surely warm you up!

Cranberry-Mint-Julep-ingredients

Cranberry Mint Julep, serves 1

Ingredients

8-10 mint leaves

2 sugar cubes, more if you prefer it sweet

crushed ice, as needed

2 1/2 oz bourbon of your choice

2 Tbsp cranberry syrup, recipe follows

Instructions

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1. Place mint leaves and sugar cubes in a glass.

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2. Add 1 Tbsp of cranberry syrup and muddle everything together until sugar cubes have dissolved.

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3. Fill glass with crushed ice.  Add 2 1/2 oz of your favorite bourbon.  (DO NOT use large ice cubes, you want CRUSHED ice.  The drink is very strong and potent.  It needs the crushed ice to dilute drink slightly.)  Use a spoon to gently stir mixture together.

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4. Add additional crushed ice.  Add another 1 Tbsp of cranberry syrup.  Garnish drink with mint leaves and fresh cranberries.

And voilà! You are ready to enjoy an icy, frosty cranberry mint julep! Cheers!

I wish you all a very happy holiday season filled with much love, laughter, and good food!

xoxo Maryanne

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Cranberry Syrup, makes about 1/2 cup (double or triple as needed)

Ingredients

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup fresh cranberries

zest of half a lime

Instructions

1. In a small sauce pot, bring water and sugar to a boil.  Add cranberries and lime zest.  Over medium-high heat, cook mixture for 3-5 minutes until cranberries begin bursting open.  Once all the cranberries have burst, remove from heat.  (Do not overcook, you don’t want the cranberries to turn to mush.)

2.  Let mixture cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a container with a lid, let chill in the fridge until mixture is cold.

3.  Remove mixture from fridge and strain.  At this point the syrup should have thicken.  Discard cranberries (or save to snack on!).  Return cranberry syrup to fridge until ready to use.

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