It takes real skill, ingenuity, and passion to fully and consistently commit to living the champagne lifestyle. Luckily for you, I’m a genius at doing it (ha). That very fact is exactly how I ended up creating the recipe for the Thanksgiving condiment you never knew you needed: fresh, fancy cranberry sauce gussied up with sparkling wine. Behold the brilliantness that is my “Mimosa Cranberry Sauce!”
Okay, so listen, I’m well aware that there are some fresh cranberry sauce haters out there, such as folks who will only eat the canned, congealed stuff (hey, no judgment…okay, maybe just a tiny bit…but I support you doing you!), or those who don’t even like cranberry sauce at all. But hear me out when I tell you that this is a sauce you really need to try.
Why? Because this isn’t just any old sauce, it’s a culinary delight if I do say so myself. Fortunately I don’t have to say so myself, because my friends and family do the talking for me. I’ve been making this sauce for several years now and my family actually gets mad at me if I don’t make this fresh cranberry sauce during the holiday season.
What makes this sauce so special and delightful is that it has a layered, harmonious, complexity of flavors. It’s the perfect blend of tangy, sweet, tart, fruity, and floral that works beautifully with the roasted turkey (as well as the next day’s turkey sandwiches, of course), but it also works well in so may other ways that you may not have thought of before:
- It works beautifully on a cheese platter served alongside brie or other creamy, soft cheeses
- add it to plain yogurt for a sweet-tart flavor boost
- melt it, emulsify it with a little whiskey, and use it as a delicious glaze on pork loin or with pork chops
Here’s the best part of eating cranberry sauce: in addition to being tasty, it’s actually good for you, too! Check out these benefits from eating cranberries and cranberry sauce:
- the National Cancer Institute says that compounds found in cranberry sauce “can help shield you from free radical damage that can foster cancer growth.”
- it’s an immunity booster
- cranberry sauce promotes clearer skin
- it can promotes heart health
So, are you sold on the sauce? Good! Let’s get to the recipe!
Mimosa Cranberry Sauce
- 1 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup rich simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1/3 cup Elderflower liqueur
- 1-1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup brut sparkling wine
- the segments of 4-5 seedless mandarin oranges (you can make them “supremed” without membrane or pith, but it’s not necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon rose water for cocktails (optional)
Put the cranberries in a pot over medium low heat. Once the first several berries begin to pop open from the heat, add the next five ingredients. Turn up the heat to medium and stir often until the mixture is brought just to a point of a gentle boil. Reduce heat back to medium-low and add sparkling wine, mandarin oranges, and rose water. Use a wooden spoon to break down the oranges and cranberries into very small pieces. Simmer mixture until it’s fully emulsified yet still chunky, about 5 minutes. Transfer sauce to medium bowl. Cool, cover, and refrigerate.
Rich simple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup raw sugar
Combine the sugar and water in a small to medium sauce pan (whatever you have available. Heat the sugar and water on low until the sugar has melted, stirring constantly. Let cool and store in an airtight container.