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Cranberry Vanilla Bean Syrup, a Compote and a Cocktail

How to make cranberry vanilla bean syrup, plus recipes for cranberry compote and a holiday cocktail with cranberry syrup.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktails, Cranberry
Servings: 3 .5 cups


For the Syrup and Compote

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean

For the Cocktail

  • 2 oz Cranberry Vanilla Syrup
  • 1 oz Rose's Lime Juice
  • 2 oz Gin
  • ice


For the Syrup and Compote

  • In a heavy-bottomed pot combine the fresh cranberries, water, and sugar. Split the vanilla bean open lengthwise, and then cut it in half. Add it to the pot.
  • Bring the syrup to a simmer. The cranberries will start to pop. Stir and press the cranberries against the sides of the pot to smash them a little to extract more juice. Cook for about 15 minutes and then turn off the heat. Allow to steep and cool slightly for another 15 minutes.
  • During the testing of this recipe, I used both fresh and fresh-frozen cranberries and there was no difference in the result, so stock up while they are in season and on sale!
  • Yield: About 3.5 cups of syrup and 2 cups of compote.
  • Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer (see photo). What is left in the strainer is the compote so don't toss it!. The syrup should be bright red, almost translucent, and may have vanilla bean flecks in it.
  • For a great soda, add about 1 oz of syrup to 12 oz seltzer water.

Cranberry Vanilla Gin Cocktail-(aka Cranberry Gin & Juice Cocktail)

  • In a┬ácocktail shaker combine all ingredients and shake vigorously. Pour into a pretty cocktail glass (the ones in the photo have been in my husband's family for over 100 years and were brought here from Russia). Garnish with fresh cranberries and lime zest.
  • Makes two cocktails.