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It’s officially the holidays!!! Thanksgiving has been celebrated and I finally allowed myself to listen to Michael Buble and light my peppermint Yankee Candle, while Chris and I assembled our Christmas tree. We also did quite a bit of Black Friday shopping online. Er, one for you and one for me was my basic philosophy. Oops? Maybe that’s what happens when you’re sipping on a glass of zinfandel while you shop. Or a cranberry mojito…

One of my favorite things about the holidays is, duh, holiday cocktails. So, I’m pretty excited for the first official Cocktail Friday of the holiday season! Oh, happy day! I started with one of my favorite seasonal ingredients, cranberries, and transformed them into one of the best drinks, a mojito. Now, mojitos are typically a summer drink, but I do love mint in the winter, so I thought the addition of cranberry flavor would work well. Plus… the colors!

Cranberry Mojitos (makes 2):
Print this recipe!

  • 8 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 20 mint leaves
  • 2 T lime juice
  • Ice
  • 4 oz. rum
  • 4-6 oz. soda water

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I didn’t want to use fake cranberry juice in my drink and really wanted to incorporate the real deal in. So, I made a simple cranberry simple syrup. Really, it’s so easy! Which is probably why it’s called a “simple” syrup in the first place.

Just put cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

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Then lower the heat a bit to medium-low and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, before your berries start bursting. Remove from heat.

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Once the berry mixture has cooled, you can strain them. I ended up letting my mixture cool overnight in the fridge. I wanted to make sure the berries had seeped as much as possible and left lots of flavor behind. But I don’t think it was totally necessary. You can strain the berries right away if you prefer.

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Now you’re ready to get your drink mixing on! Put about 10 leaves of mint and a T of lime juice in each glass. With the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler mash the mint up.

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Now put ice in each glass and pour 2 oz. of the cranberry syrup and 2 oz. rum into each glass.

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Top off each glass with soda water. And sprinkle some fresh cranberries in for garnish.

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These drinks were so refreshing and awesome! I love the sweetness of the cranberry syrup and freshness of the mint.

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Plus, these colors are the absolute best for the holiday season. Yup, this is definitely the perfect holiday party drink.

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The next month is already shaping up to be a super busy time for me, but I’m really hoping to try out a few more holiday drinks. I’d love to do a little something something with eggnog and perhaps some gingerbread and peppermint, too.

I surprisingly didn’t document our entire Thanksgiving dinner since I really wanted to just relax and enjoy the evening (I’ve definitely been leaving my camera behind more often than not lately and feeling MUCH more relaxed and in the moment in the process). But I did take a photo of our Thanksgiving table, with my dad sitting at the head. The Butterball turkey he made this year was definitely the BEST yet!

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Oh, and as always, I’m obsessed with my mom’s Thanksgiving plates. She sets a mean table.

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And we also took some lovely family photos while at my parents’ house.

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Thanksgiving memories forever! :)

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Our last Thanksgiving as a non-married couple :)

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And now the countdown to Christmas is on! In the meantime, I’ll be overindulging on all things Christmas movies, decorations, foods (and drinks!!), candles, music, etc. etc. Oh, and maybe some shopping, too. Just a little bit. Promise. But pour me another cranberry mojito while you’re at it :)

Do you have a favorite drink for the holiday season?

[Sues]

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