Slightly tart, a little sassy and completely delicious. That's how I describe this creative adult beverage that is ideal for holiday gatherings. Garnish with fresh mint and cranberries for an extra-special touch. —Kelli Haetinger, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- 1 cup turbinado (washed raw) sugar
- 1-1/2 cups cranberry juice, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
- Ice cubes
- 6 cups vodka
- Fresh mint leaves and additional cranberries
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/2 cup cranberry juice, cranberries and jalapeno. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.
- Strain, discarding cranberries and jalapeno. Cover and refrigerate syrup for at least 2 hours or until chilled.
- For each serving, fill a mixing glass or tumbler three-fourths full with ice. Add 3 ounces vodka, 1 tablespoon cranberry juice and 1 tablespoon cranberry syrup; stir until condensation forms on outside of glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Repeat. Garnish with mint and cranberries if desired. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Cranberry-Jalapeno Martini in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2012, p41
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