We’ve all experienced it–the mid-holidays burnout. The traveling, cooking, and general stress of Thanksgiving can put your immune system in jeopardy right when the fun of December holidays is starting. Perk up with a quick cranberry treat. Warm or cold, take your pick and enjoy an antioxidant-laden beverage.
From the What Can I Bring? Cookbook by Anne Byrn:
Hot Spiced Apple and Cranberry Cider: (serves 20 – 24)
2 quarts apple cider
6 cups (1.5 quarts) cranberry juice
¼ packed cup light brown sugar
3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 lemon, sliced
1. Place the apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon slices in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the flavor develops, about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let steep in the pot for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the cider through a fine mesh strainer into a clean pot or a slow cooker. Discard the cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon.
3. To serve, warm the cider over low heat on the stove or in the slow cooker. The spiced cider can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, covered. Reheat it before serving.
And for those that prefer something a little stronger around the holidays, here’s a recipe from Raising the Bar by Nick Mautone:
Scarlett O’Hara (makes two 5-ounce drinks)
4 ounces Southern Comfort
2 ounces fresh lime juice (from approximately 2 limes)
4 ounces cranberry juice
6 cranberries for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients except the cranberries. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is beaded with sweat and frosty.
Strain into the cocktail glasses, garnish each glass with 3 cranberries, and serve.