Cranberry Orange Spritzer: A simple, festive orange and cranberry mocktail, complete with orange infused sugared cranberries. This is one drink that allows EVERYONE to toast to the Holidays!
We have several pregnant and nursing mommies celebrating the holidays with us this year. Which I just love having those new sweet babies around! But new babies mean several people can NOT partake in cocktails at our Holiday celebrations. Not to mention our table is filled with more children than adults these days anyways!
There is nothing worse than everyone around you drinking a festive cocktail and you are left with water. Even the kids feel bummed that nothing “special” has been made for them.
That is why, I always like to have a fun “mocktail” around at parties. It is my way of serving up some fun, sans alcohol for all the non-drinkers (which often times, is ME!!)
This Cranberry Orange Spritzer is my mocktail of choice for this Holiday season. It is simple, healthy, fun, and perfectly tart and fizzy.
It is a simple mixture of orange juice and seltzer water. But I dress it up with cranberries that have been soaked in maple syrup and orange juice and then lightly rolled in sugar. It makes it feel a bit decadent and certainly elegant–but the truth be told, it could not be easier!!
A few days before my holiday festivities begin, I bring maple syrup and orange juice to a boil. Then I drop in a bag of fresh cranberries and let steep in the liquid in the fridge until hours before the guests arrive. This allows the cranberries to soak up the orange and maple and become sweet and literally bursting with flavor (some of the berries will pop open!) A few hours before serving I strain the cranberries from the liquid and roll in granulated sugar and let air dry. NOW, you really do not have to roll the cranberries in sugar–it is sweet addition (LOL) but totally not necessary as the cranberries have soaked up the sweetened liquid already!
Now all that is left to do is pour orange juice and seltzer water into cocktail glasses (let’s make it look pretty!) and top with a few of the cranberries. Cheers!!
Cranberry Orange Spritzer
- 1 pound of fresh cranberries
- 2 quarts fresh orange juice divided
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 liters seltzer water
- granulated sugar optional
For the cranberries: At least 24 hours ahead of serving, bring 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1 cup orange to a boil, simmer until maple syrup is dissolved. Remove from heat and drop in cranberries. Refrigerate until a few hours before serving.
Drain cranberries from liquid (you can reserve liquid to top pancakes with or to sweeten other holiday dishes but usually very little liquid is left).
Dry cranberries on paper towels and then lightly roll in granulated sugar if desired.
To prepare the drinks:
Fill each glass with 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup seltzer water. Top with several cranberries.