When we first moved to Pennsylvania, I belonged to a Potluck group. We met up roughly once a month and would cook a meal together. It was a great way to meet people who shared a love of cooking and entertaining. During our first holiday season, the group held a festive brunch, and this was a signature cocktail served. Since that time, I’ve adopted it as my signature festive cocktail and over the years I’ve shared the recipe with many friends and family members.
In terms of the recipe, the syrup is very simple to make. It can be made ahead of time and then refrigerated until you need it or if you’re really organized, you can freeze it. The actual cocktail assembly is so simple and can be done as your guests arrive or made individually.
- 12oz fresh cranberries (1 pack)
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 4-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups ice
- 1 750ml bottle sparkling wine
- Remove the peel of the lemon using a vegetable peeler.
- Combine lemon peel strips, sugar, water, cinnamon, cloves and sage in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries and return to a boil, constantly stirring. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, cool to room temperature (approximately an hour).
- Stir in honey and lemon juice. Press mixture through a sieve, discard solids. Cover and chill for at least an hour or up to three days.
- To serve, combine syrup and ice cubes in a large punch bowl. Slowly add sparkling wine and stir gently until combine. Ladle into glasses.
- Yule Mule - Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cranberry syrup to a tall glass with 1-1/2oz Vodka and top with ginger beer.
- Kickless Yule Mule - Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cranberry syrup to a tall glass and top off with ginger beer.