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True friends can breeze through long absences and pick up where they left off, right? So let’s pretend we’re friends, skip over any need for an explanation for my long hiatus in blogging and get right to the good stuff: This drink.

I had zero plans of blogging today, much less a recipe. But I DID have cranberries I needed to use up and, almost by accident, ended up making this drink that was too pretty not to photograph. Outside. On this pretty pretty snowy day. Wouldn’t you agree?


And once I took the time to photograph it, I decided I may as well put it out there on the world wide interwebs for other people to enjoy. Because this drink is good. Really good. Like I wish I had many of my dear friends from various corners of the country in my kitchen right now so we could sit around sipping this drink,and catching up, and enjoying being together, and watching the snow. I miss so very many of you. It’s the best and worst part about moving so much. You make so many great friends and you say goodbye to just as many great friends. But this isn’t a pity party. Just four months after moving to Colorado I count myself very blessed to have already made some very dear friends. Silver and Gold as they say….Does everyone say that or is it just a song from Brownies? Anyhow…whether you get to hang out with old friends or new, I hope you’ll sip this drink this holiday season with some of your favorite people.

This is a modification of a recipe I found on the blog: A Brown Table. But instead of venturing to the store, I used what I had on hand and it turned out mighty fine:

Cranberry Vanilla Syrup:

  • 1 Cup Cranberry Juice (unsweetened, pure cranberry…not that ‘cocktail’ stuff!)
  • 4 Cups fresh cranberries, washed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 c light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (Or 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract, or one scraped vanilla bean)
  • 1/4 cup triple sec

Place cranberry juice, cranberries, sugars, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the berries burst and begin to break down.

Place a sieve over a large bowl and pour cranberries and liquid through the sieve. Gently press the berries to get all the liquid out.

Stir in 1/4 cup Triple Sec.

Cranberry-Vanilla Moscow Mule – Makes One Serving

  • 1 – 1 1/2 oz Cranberry-Vanilla Syrup (however sweet you like it)
  • 1 1/2 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges (I like my Moscow Mules to be limey. It’s yummy…and also wards off the scurvy…but you can use however much lime makes you happy)
  • Ginger Beer – I like Fever Tree or Maine Root best but I have a hard time finding them. Trader Joe’s is pretty good and less expensive too.

Fill your glass with ice. Squeeze lime wedges over ice. Add cranberry syrup and vodka, then top off with Ginger Beer until glass is full. Enjoy!

I may make one of these for my very bestest friend when he gets home from work today.