There’s more than one way to enjoy leftover cranberry sauce around the holidays.
I don’t know about you, but some of my favorite aspects of the holiday seasons are the leftovers. After cleaning the house top to bottom, cooking for days and making room for everyone in my home while simultaneously being the hostess with the mostess, I am usually so tired that during the actual gathering I’m spent.
By the time everyone adds their dishes to the mix of what I have already prepared, we have enough for an army. There is typically plenty of everything for us all to have leftovers for days; however, even after leftover nights, many sandwiches and snacks, there is always that one Tupperware of my homemade cranberry relish stranded in the back of the refrigerator (find the recipe here:https://lifeinbrunswickcounty.com/so-very-cranberry/). There aren’t many options of reinventing leftover cranberry sauce aside from just adding it to a sandwich, so I created a cocktail to use it up.
Most who know me well know that I despise wasting food and will find ways to reuse a dish, freeze it or eat on it for days before throwing it out. This tasty cocktail makes brilliant use of leftover cranberry sauce. A shot of bourbon adds peppery depth, plus there’s a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a splash of ginger beer and garnishes of aromatic lemon peel and fresh mint. I’ve also come to realize that people can be quite picky about the way they take their cranberries, but just add liquor for a crowd pleaser — it adds new meaning to “hittin’ the sauce.”
This recipe would be just as delicious with vodka or gin, but I personally like the spicy complexity that bourbon adds, and since each cranberry sauce can vary, you may want to adjust the proportions to taste. My cranberry sauce uses fresh oranges, orange juice and pineapple, so it is already citrusy, but a bit of lemon juice adds the perfect amount of tartness.
I don’t get to use my copper mule mugs that often, so that is my mug of choice for this drink, especially since I incorporate ginger beer. But you can certainly use a glass if you prefer.