This is a great holiday drink. It’s bright, festive, and impressive. The cranberry syrup is a perfect addition to the simplicity of gin and soda. I prefer gin over vodka because I find that it doesn’t taste as strongly as vodka does, and I also find that cheap gin is less noticeable than cheap vodka, haha. I gave this to gin and non-gin drinkers alike, and everyone seemed to like the drink very much. It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so by any means, and the extra cranberries in the syrup pop in your mouth when you bite down on one. The whole drink is pretty simple to make, too, and you can make the syrup a day or two in advance. It’s great to have in a pitcher for a party or a small get together.
Your ingredients. My grocery store had been ransacked so there was no club soda, so I got seltzer water and it worked just fine. I’m also 21 years old and freshly graduated from college, so Seagram’s is my gin of choice on my budget.
Combine the cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium sauce pan (or large if you’re doubling the recipe, as I did). Cook until you hear the berries popping and they’re soft enough to mash, about 5-7 minutes if your berries are cold.
When the berries are ready, save 1 cup of whole cranberries for garnishing the drink, then move the rest to a sieve over a large bowl, or if you’re fancy, a ricer or food mill. Push them through so that most of the skins and seeds are left behind and the berries become pureed.
This might take a bit of work but it’s worth it! It took me about 8 minutes to push all of my cranberries through, but I doubled it.
You should have a smooth cranberry puree when you’re done. Add in the reserved cranberries. Refrigerate for a couple of hours until cooled completely, then mix with the lime juice, soda, and gin and serve with or without ice.
- 1 12-oz bag fresh cranberries (I haven't tried this with frozen cranberries and I've never used frozen cranberries in general before, but I imagine you could use frozen)
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup seltzer/club soda
- 1 cup gin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 3 limes)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries, sugar and water to a simmer and simmer uncovered until berries hiss and pop. Stir occasionally. This should only take a few minutes if the berries aren’t frozen or cold from the refrigerator, but if they are, it will take 5-8 minutes or so.
- Place your sieve/ricer/food mill over a large. Place 1 cup of cranberries aside for garnish, and force the remaining ones through the sieve. Throw away the solids remaining (seeds, skins, etc.), and add the whole berries to the cranberry syrup mix.
- Cool completely in the fridge for 2 hours, then add the rest of ingredients to the pitcher (soda, gin, and lime juice), stir, and serve over ice (or not) when ready. You can definitely make the cranberry puree a day or two ahead of time, but don't add the soda and other ingredients until when you're ready to serve.