Here’s a festive drink to warm you up this winter. The fresh cranberries (frozen will work fine too) create a beautiful colour and taste deliciously christmassy with spices and warm apple juice.
The recipe makes a strong concentrate that will go quite far, depending on how strong you decide you like it. You can dilute it with warm apple juice or just boiling water (and feel free to add a shot of rum or brandy!).
2 cups of fresh cranberries
1 cooking apple (peeled, cored and chopped into cubes)
juice of 2 tangerines/mandarins or one large orange
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 star anise
1/3 cup of liquid sweetener (honey/agave syrup/maple syrup)
- In a medium saucepan mix the fresh cranberries and apple with the juice of the orange – add the orange peel into the pan – the zest will infuse the cranberries. Turn the heat to medium.
- When the cranberries start to burst and dissolve add the liquid sweetener and spices.
- Continue cooking on a lower heat with the lid on until the apple and cranberries have cooked right down. If it begins to look a little dry add a few tablespoons of water.
- Taste test at this point to check if you want it sweeter or spicier and then add honey or spices accordingly. (Remember that it will be served up with apple juice which will sweeten it)
- Turn the heat off and strain the cranberry mush through a sieve into a jug. At this stage I add a bit of water to the pan to get the last of the flavour out and thin the syrup out a little. Push the pulp through the sieve with a spoon.
This is a very concentrated cranberry mixture which can be added to hot apple juice for a non alcoholic mulled wine alternative. (Or with a shot of brandy or rum for a stronger potion!) Serve it up in a mug or glass with a cinnamon stick mixer.