We had a party last fall that included a cooking competition in three categories: apple, cranberry and pumpkin. The overall winner was our friend Mike, who made beautiful cranberry martinis. He made another batch last night for New Year’s Eve, and once again, they were the hit of the party.
To make them, you need vodka, simple syrup and a cranberry base. The recipe for the base is below. To make simple syrup, you simply heat water until it boils, turn off the heat, add an equal amount of sugar (such as 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar) and stir the sugar until it dissolves. Simple syrup will keep in your refrigerator for a while.
At the fall party, Mike used a 1:1:1 ratio of cranberry base, simple syrup and vodka. But one of our friends wanted a drink that was sweeter and stronger, so last night, he went with a 1:2:3 ratio of 1 ounce of cranberry base, 2 ounces of simple syrup and 3 ounces of vodka. Play with the ratio and see what you like.
Cranberry Martini Base
1 12-ounce bag of cranberries
1 1/2 cups orange juice
Place the cranberries and orange juice in a sauce plan. Simmer until the berries pop. Let the mixture cool, and then run it through a food mill with fine mesh to remove the skins and seeds. Store the liquid in the refrigerator or freeze it until you are ready to use.