A “cordial” is simply a liqueur, a dessert-oriented liqueur and one that has been sweetened. A cranberry cordial can  be sipped and enjoyed all on its own.

Or, it can be employed as an element of a cocktail. I’ll will, on Saturday, be posting a lovely Cranberry Daiquiri. To make that daiquiri, you need this cordial and it takes at least two days to craft the cordial. So, you’ve got time, and a couple of days to spare! First, get those cranberries.

Cordial recipes vary significantly.  This one comes from Raising the Bar by Nick Mautone. It is is magnificent and stores for a year if you have a dark bottle and cool space. There are many recipe alternatives. You can simply amplify with some citrus zest: orange, lime, lemon or even grapefruit. Or, add a cinnamon stick as you cook these bubbling berries.

You can make a more drastic change by dropping the vodka and substituting a bottle of red wine plus a cup of brandy. That recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar, not just 2. The cordial is always wonderful and you’ll enjoy making your “new” cordial version year after year.

The original recipe is shown below. I’ve taken to a modest amendment. No water, just two cups of cranberry juice. And its the raspberry-cranberry juice that is so popular.

When finished, you can sip this cordial, but it’s quite potent. Dilute with club soda for a very refreshing drink. Or, use my Cranberry Cordial Cosmo just added to the blog.  Here it is!


Yield: Makes 2 liters


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 24 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 2 liters vodka


Place the sugar, water, and cranberry juice in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the cranberries and reduce the heat.

Simmer, stirring regularly, until the cranberries begin to pop, 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir the cranberries, thoroughly mashing them with the spoon. Let cool.

Transfer the cooled cranberries to a large pitcher or jar with tight fitting lid.  Pour in the vodka and stir well (save the vodka bottles for storing the cordial later on).  Refrigerate for 2 days, stirring occasionally.

Pour the cranberry mixture through a colander into a large blow of second pitcher.  Using a rubber spatula, press the pulp against the sides of the colander to extract as much of the cordial as possible. Discard the pulp.

Strain the mixture a second time through a fine mesh strainer.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape the side of the strainer to allow the cordial to flow through freely.  You may see some light pulp. This will settle over time.

Pour the cordial in the reserved bottles in the store in the refrigerator.

Source: Raising the Bar by Nick Mautone [Artisan, 2004]