7 Creative Cranberry Cocktails: Seasonal Sips Chock Full of Good

The fall kicks off cranberry harvest time when those adorbs little red berries, ripe for harvesting, float to the top of the bog. In many areas of the country, the harvest is celebrated with festivals with bonfires and fireworks. Restaurants and bars also honor the tart, antioxidant-rich berry. Here are seven creative plays on cranberry cocktails that transcend the Cosmopolitan (#sorrynotsorry, Carrie Bradshaw!) and embrace autumn. Keep calm and cranberry on!

Seasons 52-Perimeter, Dunwoody, Georgia
The refreshing Cranberry & Sage cocktail stars PrairieOrganic Gin, white cranberry juice, fresh muddled cranberries, simple syrup, and lime accompanied by a fresh cranberry and sage leaf garnish. Make a reservation at Seasons 52-Perimeter.

Cranberry Cocktails

Streets, Williamsburg, New York
An edgy and local BK take on the classic Moscow Mule, Streets’ Cranberry Ginger Mule stars cranberries, fresh lime, and Ginger Beer. Streets sources the fresh cranberries from the farms at Brooklyn Terminal Market. Make a reservation at Streets.

Cranberry Cocktails

Lucy Restaurant & Bar, Yountville, California
The craftologists at fun-loving Lucy in the Bardessono Hotel & Spa have debuted hand-crafted I Love Lucy-inspired cocktails. “The Ethel” cocktail features Hardy Cognac, fresh cranberries, white wine, orange juice, apples, and club soda. We’re guessing Lucy loves it. Fred? Who knows! And Ricky wants to add a splash of rum. Make a reservation at Lucy Restaurant & Bar.

Cranberry Cocktails

Mr. Purple, New York, New York
Mr. Purple is the signature drink at this rooftop bar and restaurant on the 15th floor of the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side — and it will color your world. Their cran-centric drink is a blend of Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Mr. Purple punch mix (cranberry liqueur, Allspice Dram, apple, and lemon) and a garnish of six healthful cranberries. Make a reservation at Mr. Purple.

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A Brief History of Brunch + A Few of Our Fave NYC Brunch Restaurants

Eggs Benedict, fresh bread baskets, bottomless mimosas, some gentle jazz standards to set the Sunday mood — these are the ingredients we’ve come to associate with the classic American brunch. What are the origins of this most famous of merged meals? How did brunch culture flourish in New York City in particular? And why is brunch both so loved and loathed? We explore both in this brief history of brunch and highlight some of our favorite NYC brunch restaurants below.

Brunch, Actually

The word is synonymous with Mother’s Day, bridal and baby showers, any weekend occasion that calls for a glass of bubbly (or few). But there was a time, at the dawn of the twentieth century, when brunch was a new addition to the culinary vocabulary. In an 1896 edition of Pennsylvania’s New Oxford newspaper, a new “fad” was introduced — a “repast at 11 o’clock a.m.,” between breakfast and lunch, that was on its way to becoming a weekly post-church ritual across the country. Shouldn’t the Lord’s day of rest include a nap-inducing feast … and one less meal to prepare, after all?

From Ellis Island to Studio 54 to Sex and the City: How New York Became America’s Brunch Capital

And then came a wave of immigration and, with it, a whole new cultural landscape in America’s cities, notably in New York. Today, everybody knows the cliché about how Jews go out for Chinese food on Christmas. But what was New York’s increasingly large Jewish population doing back in the day, while the rest of the city’s huddled masses were in church? Looking for places to nosh, of course. (Dim sum in Chinatown is still a weekend favorite.) That is one theory for why brunch became a tradition here. Another is the city’s vibrant nightlife. Tourists, club kids, well-heeled single women seeking a hangover cure after one too many Cosmopolitans — these and other late risers want to have their pancakes and eat them, too! In the so-called City that Never Sleeps, a whole new midday dining experience, from the greasy-spoon to the grand ballroom, was born.

Happy Hour or Hangry Time?

But brunch, like many aspects of New York life, can be complicated. Restaurant owners love serving brunch because it’s big business. Residents dodging the influx of bridge-and-tunnel brunch-seekers? Not so much. “Brunch is for jerks,” claimed one New York Times op-ed writer, only to be taken down in a New York magazine missive entitled “It’s Time to Shut Up About Brunch.” Ranting about the indignities of brunch — it’s expensive and elitist! No stroller parking! — can be an activity in and of itself. No matter which side of the argument you fall on, one thing is for sure: People are passionate about brunch. And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Skip the Lines and Brunch Away with Some of Open Table’s Favorite NYC Spots

Streetside loitering is a rite of passage for New York’s brunchers. What better way to build your appetite than standing for an hour with the Sunday paper (on your smartphone) or at the bar, right? Actually, we suggest you beat the wait by reserving a table ahead of time at some of these best-loved brunch venues in the area!

Cherche Midi
Love the food but want to skip the fracas at Balthazar? Take the flâneur route over to the Bowery and dine on all the best French brunchables — pot du fromage, steak frites, a glass of kir royale to name a few — this chic, energetic bistro has to offer. Make a reservation at Cherche Midi.

NYC Brunch Restaurants

Dirt Candy
Forget the facon: A creative menu filled with meat-free options — the Canadian Cracker alone is worth the cost of admission — elevates this eatery of earthly delights to ‘must-go’ status for vegetarians (vegans, too). Worried what your omnivorous friends will think? Mention the Jealous Mary (made with green tomatoes!) and let their FOMO do the rest. Make a reservation at Dirt Candy.

NYC Brunch restaurants

The Odeon
To call it “storied” is an understatement. So iconic of the ‘80s that it appeared on the book jacket of Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City, this downtown fixture exudes cool but it is a family-friendly neighborhood joint at heart. The expansive — and not too expensive — menu is one-size-fits-all. Great for solo dining, too. Make a reservation at The Odeon.

NYC Brunch Restaurants

Café Clover
Banquette-style dining, a table setting at the bar, the outdoor terrace — this is West Village charm defined. An emphasis on locally-sourced vegetables is a plus for those with healthy appetites … literally. Make a reservation at Cafe Clover.

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Foodies Are the New Fashionistas in NYC; Padma’s Skinny Secret + More

It’s too bad Carrie Bradshaw wasn’t more of a foodie. Maybe then we’d have all been spared the horror that was the cupcake craze.

Food and dining news from around the web and the world…

* Checks and the city. Restaurant reservations are the new Manolos for young singles. [NY Times]

* I don’t know how she does it. Oh, wait! Now I do. Padma Lakshmi reveals her secret to staying skinny. I think it also involves exercise, but, hey — juice away! [Daily Mail]

* Woody Allen’s diet. It’s as neurotic as you might think. [Grub Street NY]

* Winter wonderlands for foodies. Festivals to make the cold months pass fast. [Forbes]

* Feeling anxious? Order the salmon; apparently, it’s nature’s Xanax. [Men’s Fitness]

* The Paleo Diet. It’s so simple a caveman can do it. [PopSci]

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‘Sex and the City 2’ Twitter Trivia Dinner Giveaway: Follow @OpenTable Today

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

There’s no free lunch, but thanks to our ‘Sex and the City 2’ Twitter trivia giveaway, there is such a thing as free dinner. Today between 1PM-2PM PST (4PM-5PM EST), we’ll be giving away dinner for four at the restaurant of your choice in honor of the return of Carrie and Co. to the big screen. All it takes to win is a tweet!

To enter to win, follow @OpenTable on Twitter and watch out for our giveaway tweet of the day. Tweet back the correct answer to our “Sex and the City” trivia question and stay tuned. Dinner for four will be awarded to the first entrant who provides the correct answer. The winner will be announced on Twitter.

Read the official rules and regulations below, and, just like that, you could win dinner for your own fab four!

Follow OpenTable on Twitter

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