Seeing as it’s nearly Christmas, and I started the week sharing a festive dish, I thought I would continue the festive theme and share my cranberry and orange infused gin recipe. It has a fresh festive flavour without the sweetness of many drinks of the season.
You can prepare this now ready for Christmas and it would make a lovely homemade gift for any gin lover. Or you could just keep it for yourself – your call!
The very best bit is that the recipe has a skill level of precisely zero – if you can add some berries to some gin then you can make this recipe! Aka, my favourite kind of recipe!
Cranberry and Orange Infused Gin Recipe
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (see notes below)
500 ml gin
Peel of two oranges (ensuring as little pith is on the peel as possible, otherwise it can make the gin taste bitter)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (for later)
Large sealed jar, sterilised.
To your sterilised jar, add the fresh or frozen cranberries and the peel of the oranges.
Pour over the gin, and seal the jar.
Place the sealed jar in a cool dark place for at least 3 weeks, shaking every three or four days.
After at least three weeks, you can strain the gin off through a muslin lined sieve into a measuring jug or bowl.
Put the gin to the side for a minute, and in a separate pan add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Dissolve the sugar and water over a low heat.
Once dissolved, add a little bit of the sugary water at a time to the gin, tasting as you go, until you have the desired sweetness.
Mix well and decant into a sterilised bottle, and your cranberry and orange infused gin is ready for drinking or gifting. I decanted the finished infused gin into one of these pretty decanters that I was gifted from Clouds and Currents. The stopper can be personalised for an extra special touch.
A Note On Ingredients
At this time of year you can easily buy fresh cranberries in many large supermarkets. If you can’t find fresh ones then frozen ones work just as well. I’ve used frozen cranberries because I picked them up really cheap in January (like 50p a big bag cheap) but even now the frozen ones are relatively inexpensive. There is no need to defrost frozen cranberries before using them and there is no difference in flavour.
Gin wise, I wouldn’t buy the cheapest gin in the shop. Buy a bottle that costs £2 or £3 more (like Gordons gin for example, rather than the cheapest own brand gin), and you’ll get a better tasting gin. Don’t go crazy and buy a really expensive gin mind you: you’ll lose the lovely subtle flavours of your fancier gin.
A Note On The Method
I have taken advice from Sipsmiths (as they know a thing or two about gin) and utilised their sloe gin advice – whereby they advise adding the sugar at the end of the infusion process rather than the start. They say that “contrary to popular belief, there is very little point in adding sugar at the outset. Saturating the spirit with sugar prevents it from extracting the natural fruit sugars – and other flavours – from the [fruit]“.
Having made infused gins in the past where I’ve added the sugar at the same time as the fruit, I have to say I completely agree with Sipsmiths – by adding the sugar at the end also means you can control the sweetness more accurately.
The gin will taken on a stronger cranberry and orange flavour the longer you leave the fruit in, so if you prefer a stronger flavour then leave the fruit in.