This cranberry spritzer features a lightly spiced syrup, with subtle notes of allspice and star anise, in a fresh and bubbly beverage. The syrup can be made days ahead of time, making it a breeze to whip up a pitcher if/when unexpected company arrives.
Make the extra effort to find pure, unsweetened cranberry juice for this recipe, which is a completely different beast than the cranberry juice cocktail you’re used to (take a sip and you’ll quickly see why). It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way. One bottle will make countless pitchers of these spritzers, or you can use it in place of water in your homemade cranberry sauce, add a little punch to your morning smoothie, or simmer it with equal parts sugar and freeze for a tangy and refreshing holiday sorbet.
- 2/3 cup pure unsweetened cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 whole Star Anise
- 12 whole allspice
- 750mL bottle Prosecco or dry white sparkling wine
- 12 ounces club soda
- fresh or frozen cranberries, for garnish
- In a small saucepan, combine cranberry juice, sugar, star anise and allspice. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof container; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days, until ready to use.
- Pour chilled cranberry syrup into a large pitcher. Carefully pour in Prosecco down the side of the pitcher (which will preserve the bubbles), and gently stir until combined.
- Fill glasses with ice. Pour Prosecco mixture over ice, and top with club soda to taste. Garnish with fresh or frozen cranberries, if desired.