Create two different cocktails using Cranberry Simple Syrup as a base. Make one with vodka and the other with white or sparkling wine. Pair them with Spinach, Bacon, and Onion Dip for a simple appetizer at your next holiday gathering.
FOR THE VODKA COCKTAIL
- 3 tablespoons Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons vodka
- 1/2 cup seltzer
FOR THE WINE COCKTAIL
- 1 tablespoon Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 1/2 cup dry white or sparkling wine
- STEP 1
For the vodka cocktail, stir together cranberry simple syrup, vodka, and seltzer. Add ice and garnish with lemon.
- STEP 2
For the wine cocktail, add cranberry simple syrup to wine.
Spinach, Bacon, and Onion Dip
Spinach, bacon, and onion make a flavorful match in this cheesy dip. Serve with crostini or pita chips and pair with Cranberry Cocktails. This festive combination, great for company, might become a new holiday tradition.
- 4 slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Crostini or pita chips, for serving
For the crostini, cut a baguette into slices, brush with olive oil, and bake in a 350-degree oven until lightly toasted.
1. STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, cook bacon over medium, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 10 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from pan. Add onion to pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 8 minutes. Add flour and cook 30 seconds. Add spinach, milk, sour cream, and cream cheese. Cook, stirring, until cream cheese melts, 2 minutes. Stir in bacon and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
2. STEP 2
Transfer mixture to a 1 1/2-quart baking dish and top with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until bubbling, 14 minutes. Heat broiler and broil until top browns, 3 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Serve dip warm with crostini or pita chips.
Apple-Pie Spiced Cider
Here’s a delicious way to ward off cold weather: Serve hot cider spiced like an apple pie. Season your cider with the same spices you would use in a pie-cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg-then heat it up. If you’d like, pour in brandy for adults. Add a cinnamon stick to each mug for stirring.
- 1 1/4 quarts apple cider
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed light-brown sugar
- 7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Ground cloves
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup Calvados, or other brandy (optional)
- STEP 1
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat; pour in brandy, if desired. Strain into a pitcher; discard solids. Serve in mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks.