Fall Cocktail Essential: Cranberry Liqueur

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Looking for an autumnal addition to my liquor cabinet, I picked up a bottle of Clear Creek Distillery’s Oregon Cranberry Liqueur a few weeks ago and haven’t stopped experimenting with it since. Bright crimson and slightly sweet, it packs a cranberry punch in cocktails, homemade sodas — even dessert!

I’ve been mixing the liqueur with vodka and tonic water over ice, which is a little bitter, a little sweet, and very refreshing. (Adding a little fresh lime cordial makes it a bit brighter and sweeter, but less purely cranberry-tasting.) A splash of the liqueur in a glass of white wine or Prosecco is a pretty twist on the usual Kir or Kir Royale. And although I haven’t yet tried it, the clerk who sold me the bottle recommended pouring some over vanilla ice cream for a grownup sundae.

With thoughts of the holidays dancing through my head, I am planning on stocking a few more bottles of this in the coming weeks. Not as tooth-achingly tart as 100% cranberry juice or overly sweet like most cranberry juice blends, this liqueur is the pure essence of the puckery fruit, with just enough sugar to make it irresistible.

• More about Oregon Cranberry Liqueur at Clear Creek Distillery

Have you ever tried cranberry liqueur? How do you like to drink it?