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.
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.
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.
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.
Gin Parlour, New York, New York
The InterContinental New York Barclay’s bar features a signature William Bradford Gimlet, a nod to the hotel’s illustrious past. The cocktail is poured with Plymouth Gin and housemade spiced cranberry lime cordial (limes, filtered water, fresh cranberries, blueberries, white cane sugar, citric acid, ginger, and allspice berries) and garnished with a lime wheel and candied cranberry. A sip of old New York, for sure. Make a reservation at The Gin Parlour.
The Skylark NYC, New York, New York
This year-round rooftop lounge and restaurant sits 30 stories high with mouth-gaping views of Manhattan. Mixologist Johnny Swet channels Billy Joel with his new New York State of Mind cocktail — fresh cranberry juice, Laird’s Apple Jac, Zu Vodka, cinnamon syrup, dry cider, and citrus come together to make a New Yorker out of you. Make a reservation at The Skylark NYC.
CRUSH, Las Vegas, Nevada
Take a Skinny Dip sip at this party-while-you-eat dinner restaurant in the lively MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (Remember, it stays in Vegas – whatever happens!). The Skinny Dip is made with Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka, St. Germain, fresh lime, and muddled cranberries and served with a scarlet cranberry garnish. Make a reservation at CRUSH.
Laurie Bain Wilson is a Boston-based journalist, author, and essayist who writes often about travel, food, and baseball. Find her on Twitter @laurieheather.