It's that time of year...the time where I get a little overenthusiastic about buying cranberries. They're hard to find the rest of the year and they freeze so well that I can't stop myself from buying at least a few bags each year.
I've bought only 2 bags so far: this first was promptly used for cranberry relish (a favorite on the Thanksgiving table) and the second bag I decided to try to make some homemade cranberry juice. We rarely have juice in the house but I thought it would work very well in cocktails or mocktails for the Christmas season.
This juice was surprisingly easy to make - basically, you just simmer the cranberries in water, add some sugar and freshly squeezed orange, and then press the whole thing through a fine mesh sieve. It is much more refreshing than the store bought (with probably a lot less sugar...and other miscellaneous ingredients) and it makes a beautiful, deep red color. While we haven't tried any cocktails yet, I especially like it mixed with sparkling water.
Homemade Cranberry Juice
Taken from: Farmgirl Gourmet
Makes about 3 cups
- 3 cups fresh cranberries (equivalent to one 12-ounce bag)
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup honey or sugar (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- Rinse the cranberries and remove all the mushy or moldy ones.
- Add the cranberries and water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add honey or sugar to your taste - I started with 1/4 cup and only added a little bit at a time. Add the orange juice to the pot and stir to combine.
- Set a fine meshed sieve over a large bowl, pass the cranberry mixture through the sieve. If you do not like a thicker juice, trying to not press the solids too much (this didn't bother me so I tried to extract all the goodness). Refrigerate juice and serve. Should keep about a week.
- You can discard the solids or use them in another way - I used them in homemade jam by this recipe and adding a few frozen cherries to try to make about 12 ounces of leftover cranberries plus cherries. Delicious and I even made the jam in the same pot!