Ok, I know it's a bit early to be talking about the Holly King, since he returns at Yule and it's not even Samhain yet. But this is a recipe which takes a while to make and NOW is the time to begin. (This is an alcoholic beverage, so no one under 21 is supposed to drink it... ;) )
This is a recipe that I LOVE, but I always forget to start it on time. It takes 6-8 weeks to infuse to it's best strength and taste. So, THIS year, I put it on the calendar, bought the ingredients early and started it today. I'll share the recipe with you and maybe you can begin your own yearly tradition of adding this beverage to your Yule celebration.
Holly King's Favorite
1 12 oz package Cranberries - chopped to small pieces
1 24 oz package of dried Cranberries (my preference)
1 large Orange - zested
Chop the cranberries (whether fresh or dried) into small pieces.*
Place in a large glass jar with a good tight-fitting lid.
Add the orange zest.
Pour the 1/5th of vodka over the cranberry & orange zest mixture, covering completely.
Put the lid on the jar, label it with "Holly King's Favorite Starter" and the date.
Store for 4 weeks in a dark cupboard, taking it out to shake it several times a week.
*I have a Vita-Mix, so I just put the cranberries and vodka in the pitcher, turned it on to 5 and let it chop for about 15 seconds. You want them chopped, but not too fine.
1 1/2 c Sugar
3/4 c Water
Boil sugar in water for 1 minute.
Cool to room temperature.
Strain the cranberry-orange mixture.
Stir the simple syrup into the cranberry-orange infusion.
Add a cinnamon stick – optional.
Store in the dark for 2-4 weeks before serving.
Place in a pot to warm, do not get too hot, you want to be able to sip it easily.
You can also serve this cold or at room temperature - your choice.
Pour into a wine glass and enjoy!