A couple weeks ago I was looking at the keywords that brought people to my website, an activity we bloggers often engage in on a regularly basis. One search was for ginger ale cranberry sauce. I thought “hmmm…I don’t have a recipe for such a thing”. On my blog I have takled about cranberry saquce and I ahve talked about ginger ale. But not at the same time. Sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea to me. Wish I had it earlier. I typically have made cranberry sauce with just water, really that doesn’t make sense. The water adds absolutely no flavor to the sauce, so why not use something instead that is going to enhance the final product. Next time I was in the soda section of the grocery store, I picked up a 2 liter of Vernors Ginger Ale (an Michigan original) to give his concept a try.
I dusted off my homemade jellied cranberry sauce recipe and went to work on this new recipe. I simply replace the water with ginger ale, and cut out a tablespoon of sugar, since the ginger ale itself is sweetened. The results – we have a winner! The ginger ale added more depth of flavor to the sauce. The ginger flavor wasn’t super strong with the Vernors as I would have liked it to be. I have tried it with stronger flavored ginger ale, like Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew, and that made way more of an impression. Don’t be scared to reach for the strong stuff, it will pay off here. I also liked the carbonation of the soda pop adds another textural element, you could “taste” the bubbles!
Ginger Ale Cranberry Sauce
- 12 oz fresh cranberries
- 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup Ginger ale
Bring the ginger ale and sugar to a boil in a large pan. Once you reach a boil add the cranberries and return to a boil. Turn the heat down until the mixture is boiling gently. If you let the mixture boil too hard you may end up with a mess on your hands. Let it boil for 10 minutes. If you wish to make whole cranberry sauce, just pour it into a bowl. For jellied sauce: push the mixture through a sieve to strain out the skins. This will produce a sauce must like that in a can, expect with a better, fresher flavor.
Other Way to Enhance the Sauce
Adding flavor doesn’t necessarily have to stop that there, although this sauce is pretty good with the ingredients above. If you really into ginger, try chopping up some crystallized or candied ginger. Chop it up really fine and add it to the liquid before you bring it to a boil. You also could add some orange zest – that is a classic flavor combination. Or you could replace some or all of the sugar with honey. A rich, dark honey like a buckwheat honey would really do wonders. To sum it up, the sky is the limit. Play around with it. Make this recipe your own.