A frozen cranberry granita is the key to this bright pink fresh cranberry cosmo cocktail. With its not-too-sweet flavor and crimson hue, the cranberry has long been popular with mixologists, but more often than not, it's only sugary bottled juice that barkeeps reach for. Thanks to the popularity of drinks such as the cosmopolitan in the early aughts, the whole berry has happily made its way back to the bar. This is my take on the unabashedly pink descendant of the martini. Photo by Lynne Calamia
Simmer the water, cranberries, and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat until the berries begin to pop, approximately 7 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Puree with an immersion blender, conventional blender, or food processor for 1 minute. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer directly into a metal 9-by-13-inch pan. Do not press on the skins; simply allow the juice to drip through the strainer. Add the zest and stir to combine.
Freeze until set, at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Once frozen, scrape the mixture with a fork to create a shaved ice texture.
Fresh Cranberry Cosmo
Place the vodka, 2 1/2 ounces cranberry granita, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake until the granita melts completely. Pour into a wide-rimmed glass and serve immediately.