I first spotted the recipe at Inn Cuisine in November and since I am a big fan of cranberries knew I would have to try the recipe. FYI, Wisconsin is one of several Midwest states where cranberries are a major commercial crop.
I started my batch of cranberry liqueur on November 18. The strained liqueur was a beautiful, rich red.
I made a spritzer for myself adding a splash of club soda to the liqueur.
My husband tried it full-strength in a cordial glass. I much preferred the unadulterated taste of the liqueur on its own. It was delicious!
You can find the original recipe for the Cranberry Liqueur at here at Inn Cuisine. I have added my adapted version of recipe below.
Recipe adapted from Big Mill Bread and Breakfast's Festive Cranberry Liqueur and found at Inn Cuisine
1 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries, washed & bad berries sorted out, discarding any bad berries*
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
Rind of one lemon, cut into strips - being careful not to include white pith which can turn the liqueur bitter
2 cups quality orange-infused vodka
Combine water and sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer sugar syrup for five minutes, making sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Add the cranberries, grated orange zest and lemon rind strips. Remove syrup from heat and cool. Pour the mixture into a food processor and pulse until the berries are just slightly chopped. Add orange-infused vodka and stir.
Pour into a large glass jar (I found mine at Target), cover and store in a cool, dark place for three weeks, stirring every few days. I stored mine in the refrigerator.
At the end of three weeks (longer if you can stand it), strain the mixture several times using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth until you see no berry residue. The vodka-soaked cranberries can be reserved for another use.
Pour liqueur into glass jars. Cover and store both the liqueur and the reserved pulp in the refrigerator.
Yield: 2 ½ to 3 cups liqueur.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
*If you can't buy fresh cranberries, frozen cranberries can be substituted. Just reduce the amount of water.
To your health!