I'd totally omit the santa skewers if it were me (overkill!), but if you're going to go to all the trouble of making this multi-step beverage you deserve to garnish it however you please!
Martha's Super Complicated Cranberry Christmas Cocktails
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cups dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir
- 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- Thin strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
- 2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, crushed
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups seltzer
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put cranberries into a large, high-sided skillet; set aside. Bring syrup, wine, brown sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, lemon zest, peppercorns, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking occasionally.
- Pour over cranberries. Cover tightly with foil, and bake until cranberries are soft but have not burst, about 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer cranberries to a bowl; cover with 1 cup cooking liquid. Let cool completely.
- Bring 1/2 cup cooking liquid and the granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat to low; simmer until liquid has reduced and barely coats the back of a spoon, about 6 minutes.
- Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; let cool completely. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use, up to 3 days.
- Reserve 40 cranberries. Puree remaining cranberries and liquid in a blender.
- To serve, place 10 reserved cranberries on each of 4 decorative skewers. Pour 1/4 cup puree and 1/4 cup syrup into each of four 12-ounce glasses; stir to combine.
- Add skewers, and fill glasses with ice.
- Top with seltzer, and serve.
On that festive note I am off to Miami for a couple of weeks and thankfully leaving the shit weather behind. I will drop by for a post or two (or three) though while I’m on vacay so keep your eyes peeled!