Red-hot candies add a little spice to this rosy beverage that's perfect for holiday buffets or winter potlucks. Serve it hot or cold. At 28 cents a serving, it's inexpensive, too. —Ruth Hastings, Louisville, Illinois
- 4 quarts water, divided
- 5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup red-hot candies
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 12 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- Lemon slices and additional cinnamon sticks
- In a large saucepan, bring 1-qt. of water and cranberries to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until berries begin to pop. Drain, reserving liquid and berries. Put berries through a fine strainer or food mill. In a Dutch oven or large kettle, combine the sugar, red-hots, lemon juice, cranberry liquid and pulp, and remaining water.
- Place cloves and cinnamon sticks on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag; add to pan. Bring to a boil; stir until sugar and candies are dissolved. Discard spice bag. Strain juice through a fine sieve or cheese-cloth. Serve with lemon slices and additional cinnamon sticks. Yield: 14 servings (3-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Hot Cranberry Drink in Quick Cooking November/December 2003, p11
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