Whenever we throw a party, our guests count on a theme, and the winter holidays are no exception. Holiday traditions are primed for continuity, which, for me, is what themes are all about. They provide us with a motif, a staple pattern without which the event isn’t quite as memorable. That’s why Cranberry Daiquiris make an annual appearance at our Thanksgiving festivities. The simple, tart cranberry has been featured on holiday tables for over a hundred years. Before that, it was mixed with dried game meats to create pemmican, a nourishing staple of Native Americans and people in the fur trade because of its portability. These daiquiris pay homage to the gastronomic history of this country, to its early beginnings, and promise to boost the energy factor any time you include them at your gathering. Spoiler alert: Dr. K calls his concoction the “Evil Red Juice”. Make sure you’re eating while sipping!
Recipe for Cranberry Daiquiris For a Crowd
1 bag fresh cranberries, washed
3 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water
6 cinnamon sticks
3 1/2 T grated orange peel
3 1/2 cups light rum
Dissolve sugar in water in large saucepan over medium heat. Add cinnamon sticks and grated orange peel; bring to boil. Gently mix in cranberries and cook until they begin to pop, but still retain their shape. Let cool, discarding cinnamon. Pour mixture into large storage container. Add light rum. Chill. Strain syrup into large pitcher, reserving cranberries.
For Daiquiri Mix: 8 3/4 cups each of the following
Divide ingredients equally among 5 containers, including syrup. Each container should be able to hold 1 3/4 cups (400 mL) of each of the five ingredients. Chill. Serve in Martini glasses filled with crushed ice. Garnish with reserved cranberries.
Makes 42 drinks. This makes up a big batch, but it keeps for a few weeks in the refrigerator. We often sip on it from Thanksgiving up until Christmas.
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