Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy Hour: Muddled Cranberry Orange Old Fashioned

I like to make cocktails a lot more than I like to drink them.  I understand a lot of people out there are the opposite, and that's great!  I need someone to give my concoctions to.

We have people over quite a bit and when you're a guest at our house, I will gladly mix you up something special and after years of accumulating piece-by-piece, I feel like we are pretty well-equipped in the 'bar' to make you just about anything you want.  The problem arises when I am at someone else's house.
Sometimes it feels like I am the only person that owns a muddler!  I have had to crush herbs with the handle of a wooden spoon and even just squished them between my fingers, which works, but not very well.

It's a whole lot nicer, and easier if you have a real muddler.  One that's made for squishing fruit and bruising herbs.  One that looks cool and fits in your hand well, like the Arctic Chill one is a bonus.

For this cocktail, you're really going to need one.  Other recipes you might be able to get away without, but I don't think there's any way to crush raw cranberries without one (challenge?).

I've never had a wooden muddler, but I've heard that they can start to dry out and flake off which really doesn't sound much better than the wooden spoon option. Sure, they're a little cheaper than the Arctic Chill muddler, but I prefer not to give my guests splinters. This one has a fairly large nylon head with a bunch of little bumps to break down the herbs and fruit and it's easy to push on because of the shape of the handle.  And the most important part: it looks good sitting on your bar!

Now for the festive, easy-to-drink cocktail!
This post was sponsored by Arctic Chill, but the opinions are my own.

8-10 cranberries
2 oz. bourbon
2 oz. orange juice
2 orange slices (optional)
1/2 oz. simple syrup
dash bitters

1.  In a highball glass, muddle your cranberries (add a couple fresh orange slices if you have them!).

2.  Pour in bourbon, orange juice and simple syrup. Stir.

3.  Fill glass with ice to the rim, then top with a dash of bitters.

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