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Homemade Cranberry Liqueur with Orange Zest is easy to make, delicious to drink and a beautiful gift to share over the holidays!
This might be one of my favorite things to make for the holidays but because I put it on my blog several years ago, it has for the most part languished in the nether world of being there but no one knowing it.
As I finished this years batch of Homemade Cranberry Liqueur with Orange Zest along with the Coffee Liqueur (Faux Kahlua!) I bottled last week I decided this was one of those ‘have tos.’
Meaning I have to take some new photos, I have to re-post this article and then most importantly? You have to make it!
I’ve mentioned I make my Christmas gifts and each year there is a greater challenge to make something more unique than the last.
When I made this several years ago it was one of my first forays into the making of a liqueur. As it turns out they are pretty easy.
Some inexpensive vodka, sugar, and your choice of flavors and you’ve got your own brew. How cool is that?
This favorite seasonal liqueur is simply cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, sugar and vodka.
Simple ingredients but added together and given a couple of weeks to age and you’ll have something amazing to share…or squirrel away if you must!
In the past couple of years I’ve started making Homemade Cranberry Liqueur in time for Thanksgiving; it’s really perfect for the entire holiday season so you need a bit of a head start since it has to age for a couple of weeks.
These cranberries were frozen from last year; I take NO chances on being able to find them in time! I’ll store a bottle in the freezer and a small sip is the perfect after dinner drink.
I save the cranberry fruit after the liqueur has been bottled and those little liquored up pieces of fruit are fantastic on top of some vanilla ice cream or pound cake with a drizzle of the liqueur.
Still, the star attraction for me is this Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail. It’s seasonal, so simple and elegant and yet from the making of the liqueur to the final cocktail, it is so easy no one would imagine you only labored for a few minutes. Perfect right?
With a touch or orange in the mix it’s such a great flavor which is sure a nice bonus when first impressions are all about how beautiful it is; there is nothing homemade looking about this Homemade Cranberry Liqueur.
Though I’ve labeled the cocktail as a champagne one, the truth is I most often use either Italian Prosecco or Spanish Cava.
A friend of mine in Australia that I met on Twitter it seems like a million years ago wanted to make this recipe but as it turns out, no fresh cranberries to be found.
We take them so for granted in the US; might it be because the majority of the world’s production is in Canada and the United States? Most of the world only has them available as a frozen product.
As it turned out, the year that Amanda wanted to try this recipe, she couldn’t even find frozen berries so went on a hunt for some dried one.
Not Craisins, either, but actually dried cranberries. She was successful and made a version that looks beautiful and tasted great…in case you are also located somewhere that is not overflowing with cases of fresh cranberries everywhere we turn this time of year!
For a version using dried cranberries, please visit Amanda’s blog, Lambs Ear and Honey…tell her Barb sent you. 🙂 And cheers Amanda!
Making liqueurs is easy and delicious; here’s a few more I’ve tried with great success:
PIN IT! ‘Homemade Cranberry Liqueur with Orange Zest’
Homemade Cranberry Liqueur
For the Cranberry Liqueur
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
- 2 cups vodka Use decent vodka but top shelf not required
For the Champagne Cocktail
- 1 & 1/2 oz Cranberry Liqueur chilled
- 4 oz Champagne Prosecco or Cava, chilled
- Combine sugar and water in heavy saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer sugar syrup for three minutes, making sure all of the sugar has dissolved in the water.
- Add cranberries, orange juice and orange rind.
- Remove syrup mixture from heat and cool slightly.
- Add mixture to Cuisinart and chop just slightly to open up berries; cool completely.
- Add vodka and mix thoroughly.
- Pour into container; glass or plastic. Cover and store in a dark, cool location for 3 weeks. (I put mine in the garage).
- Stir ingredients every couple of days.
- Once the mixture is ready, strain through fine metal sieve lined with cheesecloth (I like butter muslin; it's much finer and is sure to catch every seed); saving the berries; they are great on french toast, pancakes, or ice cream.
- Pour liqueur into glass containers; serve chilled in liqueur or shot glasses or use to make the Cranberry Champagne Cocktail.
- Time does not include the 3 weeks for 'brewing.'
To Make the Cocktail
- Pour 1/2 to 1 ounce of the cranberry liqueur into chilled champagne glasses; top with your choice of chilled sparkling wine.
- I found the bottles I used the first year I did this at The Container Store; I've since seen them at World Market too but all retail bottles get pricey if making this for gifts.
- Now I buy bottles from Specialty Bottle; they have multiple styles and sizes that are inexpensive for gift giving.
- Butter Muslin is used in cheese-making and is a much finer weave than regular cheesecloth. Once you strain it you can wash it and use again. I usually strain twice to insure I get rid of any sediment!