Since I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, I’m still attempting to understand the holiday and make it mine in some way. The best way I have found so far is by taking the traditional ingredients and dishes of the holiday and giving them my own French twist.
That translated into a sweet potato gratin dauphinois one year, or a pumpkin crème brûlée dessert for example. This year, I didn’t do much of the cooking but I was in charge of cocktails and drinks. I came across Leopold Bros’ New England Cranberry Liqueur just in time for Thanksgiving, during a tasting at Bell Wine and Spirit I stumbled upon.
In France, we typically start a holiday or celebratory meal with an apéritif like champagne or light white wine. As soon as I tried the bright crimson, sweet Cranberry liqueur, I knew it would make the perfect apéritif, mixed with a dry bubbly.
I was right! The simple Cranberry kir royal is not only easy to make but it’s also perfect to serve as a festive cocktail throughout the holiday season. Simply mix 1 to 2 oz of Leopold Bros New England Cranberry Liqueur (available in half or full bottles in our area at West Dupont Circle Wines & Liqueur, Bell Wine and Spirits, Modern Liquors they can order it for you in case they don’t actually have it in store) with 3 to 4 oz of brut/cava/prosecco or any other chilled sparkling wine.
And voilà, you have a bright sparkling cocktail to toast the holidays! You can also garnish it with some frozen whole cranberries or use white wine instead of sparkling wine to make it a regular cranberry kir. Or you can just drizzle some on vanilla-pecan ice cream. Cheers!