Merry Maker Cocktail recipe makes one cocktail
• 1½ ounces Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky
• 1½ ounces cinnamon, sage and cranberry simple syrup*
• ½ ounce lemon juice
• ½ ounce lime juice
• ½ ounce orange juice
• Fresh cranberries or sugar-coated cranberries**
• Orange bitters
*Cinnamon, Sage, and Cranberry Simple Syrup: combine 1 cup fresh cranberries, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 4 cinnamon sticks, and 10 sage leaves in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst open and can easily be stirred into a fairly smooth consistency (about 10 min). Remove from heat and strain, pressing solids with a spoon to release juice. Let cool, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.
Combine the first 5 ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker is completely frosted. Pour into rocks glass and top with 2 dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with your choice of 2-3 fresh cranberries or sugar-coated cranberries.
**Sugar-coated Cranberries: combine ½ cup of water in a medium saucepan with ½ cup of sugar. Reduce over medium heat. Let cool for about 15-20 min, and add a package of fresh red cranberries, mixing so they’re thoroughly coated. Remove the cranberries from the simple syrup, and place them in a gallon-sized container. Pour 1 cup of sugar on top. Seal the container and shake to thoroughly coat cranberries with sugar. Spread onto the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 min to let the sugar harden and berries cool completely.