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.
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.
MUDDLED CRANBERRY ORANGE OLD FASHIONED (makes 1)
2 oz. bourbon
2 oz. orange juice
2 orange slices (optional)
1/2 oz. simple syrup
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.