Friday, December 22, 2017

Mulled Cranberry=Orange Juice

Here's a warm, delicious holiday beverage!  I just made this again for our simple cookie swap on Tuesday evening.  As you might guess by the above image (which I found on the ever-helpful Pixabay), I failed to take a picture of it.  When I mentioned this drink in my post about the cookie swap, a reader asked for the recipe.  I had to go back and look: it was 2007 when I posted this.  So in my view it is high time for a repost.  Here it is, with an update or two:


1 orange
12 whole cloves
a cinnamon stick
1 cup water
2 quarts cranberry juice cocktail -- I used the kind without sugar that is 100% juice.  It includes other juices, obviously, but that's preferable to sugar.
1/2 cup golden raisins (optional) -- I have never used these
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom -- again, can be optional if you don't have it.  I didn't
3 Tblsp. fresh lemon juice (bottled will work)
3 Tblsp. brown sugar

Use a vegetable peeler to peel off thin strips of orange peel from the orange. Set the orange aside. Put the peel in a small saucepan with the cloves, cinnamon stick and water. Bring this mixture to a simmer; cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

In a larger saucepan combine all of the remaining ingredients. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into this larger saucepan. Using a strainer, strain the liquid from the spice/peel mixture into the larger saucepan as well. Add the lemon juice and brown sugar.  Heat the mixture in the large saucepan over low heat until it is hot. May be kept simmering over very low heat and ladled out as needed.

(For the cookie swap, I tried making this in a slow cooker and it worked beautifully.  About 2 hours before serving I put the cranberry juice into a 3-quart slow cooker and set it on high.  Then I proceeded to peel the orange.  I simmered the peel with the water, cloves and cinnamon stick for the 20 minutes as specified.  Then I strained this mixture into the slow cooker and added the juice of the orange, the brown sugar and the lemon juice and let it all cook on high until ready to serve.  Then I turned off the slow cooker and it stayed plenty hot enough.)

If you want to be fancy, pour the mixture into mugs and top each one with an orange slice with a whole clove or two stuck in the rind.

Save the cranberry juice bottle to store any leftover beverage.  It reheats well by the mug in the microwave.

This recipe came from Cook & Tell, my favorite cooking newsletter. I discovered this beverage recipe a dozen years ago and it became an instant favorite of mine to serve to guests at holiday time.  I still love it. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this in a new post, and for sharing the link, too. I am planning to try this this season! Sounds delicious!

  2. Let me know how you liked it, Julie! It is such a favorite with me ... just the essence of seasonal flavors!


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