Here we are again, my old friend November. You’re a formidable foe, but you’re on the way out for another year and I’m still writing.
So, here’s to you, November, and your relentlessly grey skies, your bare branches, your frozen water bucket mornings, your summerish deceptions, your early dusks, your inevitable lurch towards winter. I raise a glass to you.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
For this Thanksgiving, M concocted a festive little cranberry punch for us, the very which I’m sipping as I write this.
We’ve tentatively named it the “Thanksgiving Cranberry Spatchcocktail” (spatchcocking being an old technique—renewed in popularity recently—for preparing a turkey where you remove the bird’s backbone and flatten it like an open book before cooking it).
M has graciously written up the recipe for us (below). May you drink it in good health. And may it make you pleasantly spineless for an hour or two.
Thanksgiving Cranberry Spatchcocktail
Yield: About 8 drinks
To prepare the drowsy cranberries
Note: If possible, make the drowsy cranberries a day or so ahead of time so they’ll be nice and potent.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
3 tsp orange zest
3 tsp grated ginger
1.5 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup light rum
- In a small saucepan combine the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves, orange zest, and grated ginger.
- Cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Add the fresh cranberries to the sugar-spice mixture.
- Turn heat to medium and cook until the cranberries pop.
- Remove from heat and let stand for an hour.
- Use a slotted spoon to move the cranberries to a sealable jar.
- Use a fine strainer or cheesecloth to pour the syrup over the cranberries (discard the cinnamon, cloves, and ginger/zest bits).
- Add 1 cup of light rum to the jar.
- Seal the jar and let steep as long as you like.
- Chill well before using.
To prepare and serve the cocktail
1 bottle Prosecco
Light and dark rum, to taste
- Pour the chilled syrup into a pitcher or bowl (reserve the drowsy cranberries).
- Add 1 bottle very cold Prosecco.
- Top punch with alternating small glugs of light and dark rum, to taste.
- Serve alongside: ice, mint leaves, the drowsy cranberries, thin slices of orange, lemon and lime.