Boozy Bourbon + Cranberry Cocktail
Simplify holiday hosting with this not-too-sweet cranberry cocktail you can make days before the party. Serve this big-batch cocktail in a punch bowl, pitcher or large beverage dispenser so guests can help themselves and you can actually enjoy the party!
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
- 1 cup sugar
- 3-4 cups good-quality bourbon (or your favorite whiskey)
- 2 liter bottle of club soda
- 6 cups 100% cranberry juice
- blood oranges and cocktail skewers, for garnish
- Yield: 14-16 cups
Wash fruit, then place in a large microwave-proof bowl. Add sugar, then microwave 5 minutes at 20% power, stirring halfway through, to soften the cranberries.
Make Berries Boozy (1-3 Days Before Party)
Pour 3-4 cups of bourbon over the softened cranberries. The addition of sugar and bourbon to the berries begins a process called 'maceration' which will cause the fruit to release its juice to create a flavorful, cranberry-infused syrup. Allow to cool, cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight (or longer) to allow the softened cranberries to soak up the alcohol and create a sweet-meets-tart infused syrup in the process.
Mix Big-Batch Cocktail
Empty the macerated contents into a punch bowl or other container that's large enough to serve a crowd. If desired, use a muddler or the flat side of a wooden spoon to smash the cranberries to release more juice (and booze!). Finally, add 6 cups of 100% cranberry juice and enough club soda to top off your container. Stir to blend the flavors. Note: 3-4 cups of bourbon to this much mixer is roughly equivalent to a standard shot glass per drink. Feel free to add more or less alcohol to suit your taste.
Add a festive (and delicious!) finishing touch with blood oranges sliced thin, then slid onto cocktail skewers. For added color, also top the punch bowl with a few blood orange slices.