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Course: Drinks
Keyword: Aperol, cranberries

Cranberry Aperol Cocktail

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail
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Cranberry Syrup

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely cracked with mortar and pestle
  • 3 inch fresh rosemary sprig, bruised with mortar and pestle

Cranberry Aperol Cocktail

  • 1 large fresh rosemary sprig, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (yes, more cranberries!)
  • 1 ounce cranberry syrup (above)
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 5 dashes walnut bitters
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • ice cubes

Specialized Hardware

Fine-mesh sieve
Squeeze bottle
Cocktail shaker
Cocktail strainer
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 1 cocktail


For the syrup:

  • Combine the cranberries with the sugar, water, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and bring to a bare simmer, 180 F to 190 F, about 20 minutes. Keep cooking, stirring often, until the cranberries are very soft, about 20 more minutes.
  • Kill the heat, add the bruised rosemary, steep for 5 minutes, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve set over a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Press on the cranberries to get out all of their juices. Discard the solids.
  • Place the measuring cup in a large bowl filled with ice, and stir the syrup until it cools to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until ready to use. (The syrup will keep for up to 1 month in the fridge.)

For the cocktail:

  • To make the garnish, strip the leaves off the bottom 3 inches of the rosemary sprig. Poke holes through the center of 3 of the cranberries with a toothpick and then thread the cranberries onto the bottom of the rosemary sprig.
  • Put the remaining cranberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the syrup and muddle until the cranberries are broken up into small pieces. Add the Aperol and bitters, then fill the shaker with ice. Cover and shake aggressively until the shaker is very cold, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain into an ice-filled highball or Collins glass and top with the club soda. Place the cranberry-rosemary garnish in the glass with the rosemary sticking out. Use a match or a blow-torch to light the end of the rosemary on fire to create a little smoke. Blow out any flame before serving.
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