Cranberry Cocktails

cran-cocktailYes, I’m still in cleansing mode.  I finished my “Complete Body Cleanse” but was still feeling as though  there was more flushing to be done.  I’d always known that cranberry juice was a diuretic and would flush retained fluid out of your system, but I hated that every bottle of cranberry juice I’d buy wasn’t exactly juice.  It is almost always “cranberry cocktail” which means almost no cranberry juice.  Or, it would be a blend of grape and/or apple juices with a splash of cranberry.  That’s a lot of extra sugar and calories just to get your cran on. 

When I came across a bottle of 100% organic cranberry juice, I thought I was in heaven!  I ran home and poured myself a big glass.  Pure cranberry goodness!  But wait!  BLAH!  It was terrible!  Not a hint of sweetness to be had!  Now, as a person who makes homemade cranberry sauce each Thanksgiving, I should have anticipated the tartness.  Anyone who has made cranberry sauce from fresh, whole cranberries knows how much sugar is required to make it edible!  I suppose my tastebuds had become accustomed to the “cocktail”, and I was taken a bit by surprise. 

I’d just plunked down several dollars on this bottle…so I needed to find a way to make it palatable.  I decided that by mixing it with some flavored seltzer (lime is my preference) I could jazz up the juice and make myself a healthy, refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail of my own.   Well, it was delicious!   I should have figured I’d love it, considering that one of my favorite “real” cocktails is a Cape Cod, which is basically a more fun way to say “vodka-cranberry with a lime”.  A Cape Cod is like a unsweetened Cosmo (no Triple Sec  or sweetened lime juice).  It also is served in highball glass, as opposed to the dreaded, spill-prone martini glass.  Maybe you won’t look as swanky drinking a Cape Cod, but you also won’t have a big cranberry colored stain down the front of your outfit.

For those of you looking for a refreshing, summery drink, try my Cranberry Sparkler.  It is pink, it is healthy, and it tastes great!  Or, better yet, make it a Cape Cod.  It’s no Cosmo, but I think Carrie Bradshaw would approve.

Cranberry Sparkler

Makes 1 drink

Fill a tall glass ¾ full of seltzer (plain or flavored, your choice).

Top off with 100% cranberry juice.

Garnish with a lime wedge, add ice if desired.


Cape Cod

Makes 1 drink

1 ½ ounces vodka

4 ounces 100% cranberry juice

Garnish with a wedge of lime.  (Add a splash of seltzer for a little sparkle!)


 Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.


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