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Friday, April 26, 2013

Fall Wedding Signature Drink

Wedding signature drinks sport a unique garnish of sugared cranberries in the drink shown above. With fall coming soon, brides are sure to be planning some unique drinks, but this one is perfect for the bride who isn't planning on serving alcohol or who is looking for a drink to round out the night that is non-alcoholic.

As a lover of apple cider, it only gets better with the addition of these sugared cranberries. If a martini can sport an olive or onion, why can't  your cider have some cranberries on a swizzle stick? Here's the recipe to make these great tasting treats. If you are planning a picnic wedding and serving lemonade, try using blueberries that are sugared the same way. Good for you? Nope! Taste great? Yes! Give them a try and let me know what you think of them.

Sugared Cranberries for Garnish
Makes 2 cups


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup fine sanding sugar


  1. Combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water in a small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat while stirring. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes. Place berries in a bowl then pour syrup over the top. Cool completely, cover with Saran Wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain berries in a colander over a bowl, saving syrup for another use. Put sanding sugar in a shallow bowl. Add the cranberries in batches, rolling around to coat with sugar. Spread sugared berries in single layer on a baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature until dry, about 1 hour.
Another cider option is mulled cranberry cider with a splash of port. Yum! Use cinnamon sticks as swizzle sticks with a tiny slice of kumquat. The recipe below is for 12, multiply it out for the right number of guests for your party.


  • 9 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 6 cinnamon sticks, plus 12 more for garnish
  • 8 star anise
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 3 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 18 slices)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • One 375-milliliter bottle port
  • 12 thinly sliced kumquat rounds, 6 to 8 kumquats for garnish optional


  1. In a medium pan, combine everything but the port and kumquats. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat. Cover, steep until ready to serve, up to 1 day.
  2. Right before serving, add the port to mixture in saucepan, and bring back to a simmer; do not boil. Keep warm over low heat while serving. Strain and divide among glasses, and garnish each with a cinnamon stick and kumquat slice.

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