It is still cranberry season, and it would not be fair of me not to share this cranberry gin along with a recipe for a blush cocktail with you. In the height of holiday planning, wrapping gifts, entertaining, and traveling, I got a wild whim to make cranberry gin. I mean, why not add just one more thing to my to-do list. I had seen a recipe floating around the Internet, and I was intrigued as I do love to flavor gin as well as vodka using fruit or herbs. I played around and came up with this lovely Cranberry Gin Blush Cocktail. It would be perfect for Valentine’s Day!
The process is simple. I took a bag of fresh cranberries (12 ounces) and lightly macerated them. Then I divided them between two mason jars, which I filled with a bottle of gin (one bottle divides nicely between two large jars). After putting the lid on (yes, I just told you to do that), I gave the jars a shake, shake, shake and slipped them into the freezer. There they sat for two weeks. Once the gin was a lovely shade of pink, I strained it through 2 layers of cheesecloth. Re-bottled the gin into the original bottle; did I forgot to mention, do not toss out the gin bottle! Once the gin is re-bottled slip it back into the freezer to enjoy. You may be wondering where the sugar gets added? I did not want the gin to be overly sweet as I was planning to use it in cocktails, so I did not add any sugar. The gin is perfect on its own over ice; slightly tart (thank you cranberries) with a juniper berry undertone. It just needs a little twist to complete this on the rocks beverage. Very refreshing.
Now on to the cocktails. The obvious cocktail to make is a pink gin and tonic. Or how about pink Ramos fizzes; perfect for a romantic breakfast in bed. How about making your partner “blush” with this romantic cocktail. I thought this would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. Oh, did I mention, I am in the mood to do girly things for Valentine’s day this year. I never do anything beyond a card and making a special dinner at home. Sounds like any ole day doesn’t it? I have been thinking about traditions and romance a lot lately, and I confessed to Lenny, today, that he may be seeing some hearts floating around pre-February 14.
Happy pre-Valentine’s Day!
** after searching online for cranberry gin, I moved onto “pink gin” which opened another cocktail door. There is such a thing as pink gin, and it is a cocktail that was made fashionable by the British and is basically gin with a dash of pink Angostura bitters with a little lemon rind as a garnish. Served simply in a chilled glass. Cannot wait to venture deeper into the history of pink gin.
Cranberry Gin Blush Cocktail
** makes one cocktail
2 ounces cranberry gin
1 ounce st. germain
4 dashes rhubarb bitters
4 ounces bitter lemon (we like to use Fever Tree)
In a stirring beaker add the ice cubes, gin, st. germain and bitters.
Strain into a pretty glass.
Top off with bitter lemon.