Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cranberry Color and Decorations (with bonus punch recipe)

CDC cranberry1Image via Wikipedia

Cranberries are great inspiration for holiday decor. They subtly say "Festive", instead of screaming "FESTIVE!!!" like, say, a Santa or reindeer motif. 

Cranberry decorations, like centerpieces and candleholders, are nice additions to holiday decor.  I particularly like ice lanterns with cranberries and pine branches enclosed in the ice.  You can make beautiful star-shaped ice lanterns with this mold from Lee Valley (instead of trying to rig up a system of empty milk carton and soup cans - just save yourself the frustration).

Ice Lantern - Lee Valley,,104,53208,52307

If you don't want to literally use cranberries in your decor, the color Cranberry is great, too. It's a warm, rich color - perfect for cold winter evenings -  that goes great with gold or silver.

Cranberries also happen to be delicious in beverages. Here is an easy recipe for a delicious cranberry-lemon punch that you'll want to serve all year round:

1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
Cranberry juice
Clear carbonated beverage, such as Sprite, Ginger Ale or Club Soda
Frozen lemon slices, frozen cranberries, and ice cubes made with cranberry juice

Prepare the lemonade concentrate according to the directions using cranberry juice instead of water.  Top up the punch bowl with a clear carbonated beverage (experiment with different sodas to vary the taste from more sweet to more tart).  Float the ice cubes, lemon slices and cranberries as garnish.  For an extra kick, I recommend spiking the punch with Sour Puss Raspberry liqueur, which adds the perfect sweet/tart taste.

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