How about a cocktail that fits the season? Here’s a festive cranberry margarita to make stuffing that bird and putting up with relatives a bit easier this year. I’m teasing, I’m teasing. I like who I spend the holidays with, it’s the long NASCARish drive that my husband puts me through that makes me jump out of the car upon arrival and run inside screaming, “Where’s the blender?!”
This is the perfect combination of tart and sweet. I’m not into really sweet drinks. I save that for dessert 😉 The tartness of this is smooth and subtle and goes well with Thanksgiving dinner. You can omit the alcohol if you want the virgin version, kids like this as well. It was kid approved a couple years ago by my nephews and niece. I’m not sure which version they had but, they liked it. I kid 😉
This recipe is for the cranberry margarita base, alcohol is not in the jars. It makes 3 pints and is great to give as gifts. Just tie a purty ribbon around a canning jar and voila, you have a gift or just something unique to take to the next get-together. Your guests will thank you. You can thank me with brownies.
1 1/4 c. 100% cranberry juice
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
12 oz. bag of cranberries, thawed (reserving 12-15 cranberries)
3/4 c. lime juice (fresh preferred)
Pour cranberry juice into blender. Add water, sugar and lime juice.
In a medium pan add the cranberries and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. When berries start bursting, start mashing them with a potato masher. Let the berries break down for about 3 more minutes and remove from heat.Put a strainer over a container that will hold the cranberry juice and some pulp. I used a 4 cup glass measuring bowl. With the back of a spoon smash down the cranberries to get the juice out. Raise the strainer every couple of minutes and scrap the bottom with a spoon. Add this smooth pulp to the blender. Keep repeating the above process until your cranberries are reduced by at least a third. You want all the juice and smooth pulp you can get. Once you’re done straining the cranberries, add the juice and any pulp from the “catching” container into the blender. Put the top on the blender and hold top down with your hand, it will be full. Blend for about 1 minute, until everything is smooth and mixed throughly.Serve immediately or put cranberry mixture into canning jars to use later or give as gifts. Fill jars 1/2 – 3/4 inch from the top of the jar. Refrigerate until use, they will self-seal.
If you chose to can the mixture when it’s time to make the margaritas, add about 2 1/2 cups ice to the blender. Add 1/2 a jar of cranberry mix and add tequila and triple sec to your preference. I add about 3 shots tequila and 1 shot of triple sec, to make 3-4 drinks. (One shot equals one ounce).
Sprinkle some sugar on a plate. Pour a bit of cranberry juice on another plate. Dip the rims of 4 margarita glasses into the cranberry juice; dip into sugar. Rinse (extra) cranberries; dip into the sugar. Thread cranberries onto a cocktail pick and set across glass for garnish. I skipped this step as I was making these (virgin) margaritas at midnight and didn’t feel like getting all fancy. Many of my blogs come from nights of insomnia 😛