Cranberry Gin & Tonics

cranberry gin tonic
 I added  homemade cranberry syrup to the classic G&T and the results were pretty outstanding.  I don’t know what it is about gin that makes it such a suitable spirit during the holidays. Maybe because it kind of tastes like pine trees?  I, for one, enjoy having spruce breath and plan on subjecting my dear friends and loved ones to it with gusto.


6 oz gin
2 cups tonic water (I do half tonic water, half club soda)
1/4 cup cranberry syrup (recipe and directions below)

Mix ingredients and pour over ice. Serves 4

Cranberry syrup recipe:

1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Put cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Then lower the heat a bit to medium-low and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, before your berries start bursting. Remove from heat.  Let berry mixture cool for about 10-15 minutes. Strain berries over a small bowl for your simple syrup.

Other holiday/winter-y cocktails:

Dirty Shirley Temple

Rum Milk Punch

Orange Salted Caramel Margaritas (and Cranberry Mojitos!)

Honey Ginger Rosemary Cocktail

Cran-Apple Crisp with Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream

cran apple crisp and ice cream
Ahh apple crisp.. the old standby.  I thought it would be fun to give it a little holiday zest by adding red tang and a booze-y sidekick. Both components were super easy to make.  I don’t have an ice cream maker- so as much as I wanted to make bourbon ice cream from scratch (I didn’t), adding hooch to vanilla ice cream was just as effective.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Serves 4-6

3-4 apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup cranberries
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Combine all topping ingredients except for the butter. Pour in the melted butter and stir until evenly mixed.  Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, boil the cranberries in water for 5 minutes or until they start to pop. Once they are open, take off heat immediately and drain.

3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed then toss the fruit mixture into a 1 quart baking dish.

4. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the fruit.  Bake for 40-45 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes.


cran apple


Bourbon Brown Sugar Ice Cream

1 pint vanilla ice cream, best quality
2 oz bourbon
3 tbsp brown sugar
dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients, stirring until blended. Transfer to an airtight container (or back into the pint container) and freeze for at least 2 hours.

photo 2 photo 3DSC_2323

Here are some past holiday treats:

Gingersnap Truffles

Lemon Thyme Sugar Cookies

Apple Oatmeal Cookies with Maple Icing