I've never been one to really love flavored vodkas — until I tried infusing my own with cranberries. This simple method calls for combining the fruit with orange peel and vanilla bean and letting it infuse for about a week, give or take a few days.

Strain the mixture, but don't toss those candied cranberries! They can be used in place of brandied cherries for any festive cocktail. I'm planning to muddle them up in just about every cocktail I can. Use the cranberry vodka and candied cranberries for your own holiday parties, or give them as edible gifts.

Cranberry Vodka

Cranberry Vodka

Cranberry Vodka

Ingredients

1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split
2 oranges, peels cut into 2-inch strips
1 (750 mL) bottle of vodka

Directions

  1. Place cranberries, sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat, and stir. Simmer cranberry mixture until the berries burst, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Place orange peels in a large glass container with an airtight lid, or large mason jars with lids. Pour vodka over the orange peels.
  3. Allow the cranberry mixture to cool. Pour the cooled mixture into the glass container(s). Cover tightly, and set aside for 1 week.
  4. After 1 week, strain out the cranberries and orange peels, and pour mixture into a clean bottle, using a funnel. Place cranberries in a separate 16-ounce, wide-mouth mason jar. Store both in the refrigerator.