Day 3 on my 12 days of Christmas stocking gift ideas belongs to Cranes and their Cranberry and Blood Orange Liqueur. I brought this home with me a few weekends ago so I could test out and try some of the cocktails recommended by cranes which all use this amazing fruity liqueur to create some super tasty cocktails. I’m definitely going to be trying some of these out again over Christmas with the liqueur that I have left over! My parents also loved this stuff and were so glad I’d brought it back to try with them.
Cranes started in Cambridge when twins Dan and Ben created a delicious range of alcoholic drinks made uniquely from cranberries, and lucky for us cranberry fans, they’ve decided to bring out a liqueur for Christmas. Comprising of cranberry and blood orange juice and orange rind. This liqueur is definitely just what you need to ensure your cup or glass is filled to the brim with festive cheer. There’s just something about cranberry that always reminds me of xmas, possibly I link it to the mountains of cranberry sauce that I heap onto my turkey at Christmas dinner but that could just be me being weird?
My Cranes liqueur arrived in a cute little cardboard outer package which outlined some of the serving suggestions as devised by Cranes in the form of cocktails but you can also find them HERE so that you can also create these masterpieces at home once you’ve got your bottle of Cranes! I picked three of these cocktails to start with but may just have to go back and try the others as well.
The first we created was a take on a cosmopolitan and so included vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice and obviously Cranes liqueur. I followed the instructions very carefully as I have a habit of getting carried away and ruining recipes but it was all fine in the end as the cocktail turned out beautifully (apart from me managing to get the lid of the cocktail shaker stuck for quite some time). The sweet taste of the liqueur contrasted but also complimented the strong taste of the vodka, (of which I’m too familiar with for my liking) whilst the lime juice married the two tastes together with a little extra cranberry flavoured help from the Juice.
I loved the fruitiness of this cocktail and the colour was so rich, I feel it’d be the perfect start to any dinner party and that people may not be expecting the slight twist to this drink and therefore it’d be a great topic of conversation. I was also quite impressed with my garnish, I felt that it added the wow factor and really made this cocktail stand out against the other two.
Next up was the Espresso Martini. Even though I’m not a huge coffee drinker, somehow I’ve become the number one fan of the espresso martini – if there’s one on the menu, I’ll most certainly be drinking it. I was a little apprehensive of adding another ingredient into the mix, what if it ruined my beloved cocktail? But I manned up and did it anyway. I’m very glad I did. First the taste of the coffee hits you like a normal espresso martini but then you get a sweet blast of fruitiness in the aftertaste which is a great surprise, instead of the two different tastes merging together it’s kind of like you’re drinking two different cocktails at the same time. Very strange… but a good strange. I think you probably have to try it to understand exactly what I mean!
I feel that this cocktail would be perfect in replacement of a pudding (or after – you CAN have the best of both worlds) as it’s still quite sweet but is also a little more filling than the Cosmo. Also the coffee will definitely help to wake you up after your meal while you’re fighting off a food coma! It has the same distinctive colour and frothy top than a normal espresso martini and so is instantly recognisable.
Last but not least we tried the Cranes Bellini – The Cranbellini. This was the easiest to recreate as it just comprised of topping up prosecco with a dash of Cranes Liqueur. I was surprised to see how far so little of the liqueur went, it really does add so much flavour from just a few drops – meaning you can get quite a few glasses out of it! I was very Impressed with this, as was my dad who doesn’t really like prosecco but as soon as the liqueur was added he was a massive fan and even said he may get a bottle for himself to take to parties and brunches where prosecco is being served so that he can enjoy the bubbles too! Job well done Cranes!
This would definitely make a great present for anyone who loves a drink or enjoys trying out new tastes and concoctions. Take a look HERE on their website to find out more and purchase your own bottle (you can also enter to win a bottle of this fab liqueur on their website).