Cranberry Gin Shaker
Holiday cheer: it comes in many forms, but my current favorite is this cranberry gin shaker.
I’m branching out, folks! Not just popping open the predictable bottle of bubbly or full-bodied red, which by the way, are solid choices. But this year my husband gave me a hard time about drinking the same-old same-old, week after week. I’m a bourbon girl through and through, so in addition to wine, I have exactly one mixed drink that plays on repeat in the Well Seasoned household (the paper plane — trust me, it’s fab!).
After a quick walk through of what was currently stocked in our bar, I settled on gin. But the thing about gin is that I often find its prominent juniper flavor to be off-putting. Mildly put, I think it tastes like a Christmas tree. But on the other hand, it offers a relatively neutral starting point to build upon and pairs well with sweet things. The simple syrup was an easy solution to contrast the gin, but the natural tartness of the cranberries ensures that the drink isn’t too sweet. It’s a win-win!
And the name? I let my 3 yr old pick it! That sounds awful, so let me explain.
At no point did he ever try this drink, though he did steal a sugar-coated cranberry (from the bowl on the side, not the cocktail!) and let out a resounding, “mmmm!” Instead, he watched as mommy shake-shake-shaked all the ingredients, and sat in my lap offering every possible distraction he could muster up while I edited these photos.
“What is that, mommy?”
“It doesn’t have a name yet, but I’m working on it. Also, will you please go away?”
“It’s red, mommy! Red is my 4th favorite color.”
“That’s wonderful. Will you please go find something to do?”
“What are those green things on top?”
“That’s fresh mint. I think I hear a squirrel outside, you should go investigate!”
And over, and over, until finally I let him help me name it. I offered up things like candied cran and gin, cranberry mint fizz (which I think this could technically never be — no frothy egg whites), and cranberry gin splash. All rejected, and rightfully so.
“You shook it at a lot of times, mommy!” And thus the cranberry gin shaker was born.
And there was much rejoicing and much holiday cheer.Print
For cranberry simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 ¾ cups sugar, divided
- ½ cup frozen cranberries
For the cocktail
- 4 oz gin
- 4 oz elderflower liquor, (such as Saint Germain)
- 4 oz cranberry simple syrup
- 4 oz fresh lemon juice ((about 1 lemon))
- fresh mint leaves, (for garnish)
To make cranberry simple syrup
- Combine water and 3/4 cup sugar in a medium sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, then lower heat to medium-low and add cranberries. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place remaining 1 cup sugar in a small bowl. Use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer a few cranberries at a time from the sauce pan and place in sugar. Swirl until evenly coated, then transfer to a cooling rack to harden. Repeat with remaining cranberries, then set simple syrup aside,
To make cocktail
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice, then add gin, elderflower liquor, cranberry simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice. Shake for about 30 seconds, then divide evenly into coupe glasses. Garnish with fresh mint and candied cranberries.