Well, there’s not much left to can this time of year. Or I guess the bigger problem is I’m running out of room for everything! There’s only so much a Brooklyn apartment can store (and a Brooklyn couple can eat!). But I can’t completely give up preserving! Instead, I’ve moved from jars to bottles…
We’re trying to budget this year, so for the holidays, handmade gifts are a definite. I’ve already rationed the canned goods I’m willing to part with, but when I started thinking bottles rather than jars, I figured, who wouldn’t want a little extra booze for their bar? Especially some homemade stuff. No, I’m not talking about moonshine. I stumbled across a Cranberry Lime Vodka recipe on Fancy Napkin. It looked so pretty (and tasty), how could I resist? Honestly, the hardest part of the entire recipe was finding the bottles. The local restaurant store (where I sometimes pick up canning jars if I’m in a jam) wanted to charge me $8 each! I knew they would be a little expensive, but really? Instead I ended up getting them at Crate & Barrel for $5. I probably could have found them a little cheaper if I looked harder (or bought in bulk) but at the time my options were slim.
Fancy Napkin advise to prick the cranberries with a pin or needle prior to dumping them into the jar. I wanted to make sure I was getting a good cranberry punch, so instead used a paring knife and turned the knife slightly while pricking, to make sure I had a deeper cut. I also wanted to make sure I could squeeze as much vodka into the bottles as I could so filled the bottle about 3/4 with cranberries rather than all the way up.
After the initial preparation of the vodka, you need to shake the bottle every few days for about a month so the flavor mixes well. Cranberries are thirsty little things and after the first two days I found my bottles where a good 2oz low, so I added some more. You might have to do this periodically, especially during the first week or so.
After about a month, the vodka’s good to drink! Feel free to keep the cranberries in the bottle, just use a pouring spout so they don’t fall into your drink. Or use the cranberries as a garnish! Still waiting for mine to infuse but I’ve been dreaming of Cosmopolitans and Crantinis ever since!
Cranberry Lime Vodka (Adapted from Fancy Napkin) Makes 2 Bottles
- About 3c fresh cranberries
- 4 small limes (or 2 large)
- 4 tbsp sugar, divided
- 1.5l vodka (cheaper the better; you won’t taste it!)
- 2 750ml sealable glass bottles
Using a sharp knife pierce each cranberry and twist knife slightly to create a wider opening. It’s a little laborious, so have a mindless movie or some good music on in he background. Drop pierced cranberries into your bottles until about a quarter of the way full.
Peel the rind off your limes with a paring knife or peeler. Divide lime rinds between two bottles. With the rest of the lime, get some cranberry juice and make yourself a Cosmopolitan!
Continue filling bottles with cranberries until bottles are a little less than 3/4 full. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to each bottle then CAREFULLY add vodka (a funnel would have really helped for this…).
Seal the bottles and give each a few good shakes to mix. Be sure to give the bottles a shake every few days to make sure the sugar mixes through (and add some extra vodka if necessary). Let the vodka infuse for at least a month; the longer it sits, the stronger and sweeter the flavor will get!