Monday, November 23, 2009


Every year around this time I get asked for some "Thanksgiving Cocktails" and I have to say, it's one of my favorite holidays for there are so many different directions to go and so many different ingredients to use ranging from cranberries to oranges to spices to persimmons to apples.

While I usually mix up something new every holiday (yes, being a mixologist relegates me to always being the one to "bring the alcohol"), we always make a "Crantopia Martini" before dinner, as people are showing up. (You know, because it's bad luck to be empty-handed in our household.) The drink is actually a combo effort between my sister-in-law and myself. When my husband & I were first married, we had Thanksgiving over at his family's house. His sister made this amazing cranberry sauce and I was inspired to make a cocktail out of it. A typical Thanksgiving cranberry sauce is actually more of a compote made with sauted, sweetened cranberries and a number of different ingredients. Below is a recipe for a cranberry compote and our traditional Crantopia Martini. But, if you have your own recipe, feel free to use in the martini recipe.

Orange Spice Cranberry Compote
2 cups whole cranberries
peel of one orange
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup simple syrup
2 dashes ground cinnamon
2 oz Grand Marnier

Saute the ingredients together until the cranberries soften. Continuously scrape the sides. Pour contents into a bowl and let cool. Serve with turkey and/or use for the Crantopia Martini

Crantopia Martini
2 Tablespoons cranberry compote
1.5 oz orange vodka (I like Belvedere Orange and Stoli Oranj)
0.5 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup (may need to adjust depending on how sweet your compote is)
rosemary sprig, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a chilled martini glass or even tall shot glasses. Garnish with rosemary sprig.



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