Cranberry Christmas Cocktail

Lees in Afrikaans

One of the things that gives you that Christmas feel, other than the decorations and audible carols, is the smell of spice in the air and food that simply tastes like Christmas.

The CCC cocktail

A Cranberry Christmas Cocktail scented with pine is the perfect start to the celebrations. The addition of pine (we used juniper) gives a gentle ‘fir-tree’ taste, but it’s more about the decoration and the aroma than the flavour. While most pine and fir trees are edible, there are a few that are toxic. Make sure you avoid hemlock, Norfolk pine, Australian pine and Ponderosa pine. If you’re not sure what fir tree you’ve got, use rosemary as a substitute.

  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 bottle dry sparkling wine, chilled
  • Frozen cranberries
  • Sprigs of pine (or rosemary)

Make a syrup from the cranberry juice and sugar. Heat both in a saucepan and boil for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it – at some stage it can reduce very quickly and become too brown, losing its bright red colour (and you don’t want that to happen). Once it has reduced you can bottle the syrup and refrigerate it for use later. To assemble, add some syrup to a champagne glass and top with sparkling wine, a few cranberries and a sprig of pine.

The Gardener