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Big Mill B&B's Cranberry Liqueur

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Big Mill B&B's Cranberry Liqueur
Courtesy Big Mill B&B
Big Bill Bed and Breakfast
1607 Big Mill Road
Williamston, North Carolina 27892
252-792-8787
Rates: $95-400

The Big Mill Bed and Breakfast offers its guests over 200 acres of grounds in eastern North Carolina on which to ramble, taking in such delights as a large pond, tobacco barns, a vintage 1978 airstream trailer, a grape arbor and chicken coop. It is an ideal destination B&B, where you can nestle in for an entire weekend or longer. Private entrances and breakfast that’s delivered to the room in a basket ensure plenty of privacy, yet Chloe Tuttle, whose family has had the farm for years, is always around, graciously seeing to your needs and recommending local restaurants and attractions -- that is, if you can tear yourself away from Big Mill’s serenity.

If the setting isn’t quite enough to banish your stress (and I can’t imagine how that could be!), you might ask Chloe if she has any of her homemade Cranberry Liqueur around. It’s an original recipe and comes with a double benefit: not only do you get the beautiful clear red liqueur, you get some seriously drunken cranberries that taste great on their own or work well as a topping for sorbet, yogurt or fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup water
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2 Cups fresh cranberries *, washed and picked through, discarding bad berries
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 Tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 Cups Vodka (if you prefer a stronger alcoholic mixture, substitute some of the water with vodka)

Preparation:

Combine water and sugar in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer sugar syrup for five minutes, making sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in the cranberries, orange rind and orange juice concentrate. Remove syrup mixture from heat and cool enough so that the mixture can be safely poured into a blender. Using the chop setting, pulse so that the berries are just slightly chopped. Allow the mixture to cool.

Add vodka and stir.

Pour into a large glass jar, cover and store in a cool, dark place for three weeks, stirring every few days. If this is made during the winter it can be stored in a cool place. If it is made in warm weather, store in the refrigerator.

After steeping for three weeks, strain the mixture several times using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth until the mixture comes out clear. Save the cranberries.

Pour liquid into glass jars. Cover and store liqueur and pulp in the refrigerator. Reserve the pulp for other great things!

Yield: 2 ½ to 3 cups liqueur. You can easily double or triple this recipe; I usually make enough to fill a gallon jar.

*(If using frozen cranberries, reduce the amount of water.)

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