DrinkWire is Liquor.com’s showcase for the best articles, recipes and reviews from the web’s top writers and bloggers. In this post, The Cocktail Artist offers a seasonal twist on the French 75.


Cranberry sauce is one of those classic Thanksgiving traditions (does anyone serve it at any other time of the year?) Our cocktail incorporates that traditional flavor by using simple syrup that's extracted while making homemade cranberry sauce. This cranberry sauce/syrup has a bit of ginger and clove and works well with the citrus of the season - the ubiquitous clementine. Our cocktail recipe is a twist on the classic French 75 (which is comprised of gin, lemon and champagne). Our recipe uses the spiced cranberry simple syrup, clementine, lemon, dry Spanish Cave and some local gin. The The gin we chose is Virginia-made Filibuster Dual Cask Gin. This is a “blushing gin” that incorporates local basil, lemon verbena, and rosemary. This gin doesn't have strong juniper notes, so it works well with the other ingredients without taking over.

Cranberry Clementine Sparkler

1 1/2 ounces gin (Filibuster Dual Cask Gin)
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed clementine juice
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ounce spiced cranberry simple syrup (recipe below)
2 1/2 ounces Cava brut

Pour gin, clementine juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well and strain into a champagne flute. Add Cava and stir. Garnish with a clementine twist and cranberries.


Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup (and cranberry sauce)

2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon vodka

Rinse cranberries and put them in a small saucepan with brown sugar, water, ginger, and cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes (until all of the berries have popped open). Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh sieve - pressing on the berries to release all of the liquid. Pour the syrup into a bottle or jar, add the vodka and refrigerate. The syrup can be kept for 3 weeks in the refrigerator. What remains in the sieve makes a tasty cranberry sauce with the addition of a bit of Grand Marnier.

Note: This syrup can be used to make a festive Old Fashioned. See our Old Thyme Cocktail recipe and substitute the spiced cranberry syrup for the honey/thyme syrup. You can also add it to club soda for a non-alcoholic spritzer.

To read more about this cocktail and to see our original artwork, visit our blog: The Cocktail Artist