Hot Cranberry: Recipe For The Best Vitamin C Winter Holiday Drink…Ever


I can drink Hot Cranberry just like that. Long-time NYSF readers may recall that every year around Thanksgiving, we publish a recipe for our favorite winter holiday drink.  We’ve gained a lot of new readers over the past year, so here it is again, just in time for the holidays.

The recipe is technically called a Cranberry Hot Toddy, but we call it Grog.  After a few of these, you’ll know why we call it Grog. However, using cranberry juice rather than water in our hot toddy gives the drink a festive spin, plus some extra vitamin C, which is helpful if you’re trying to ward off a cold.

Feel free to share this recipe with your friends and families. It’s a great way to spread cheer.  We’re making it for Thanksgiving, but it’s a perennial favorite throughout the winter in our house.  Let us know how you like it.

Cranberry Hot Toddy aka GROG

2 tangerines

1/2 cup whole cloves

4 quarts unsweetened cranberry-raspberry juice (if unsweetened not available, omit the sugar below)

2 2/3 cups sugar

4 cups amber rum, such as Bacardi Gold.  (Rum can be omitted for Virgin Grog, but then it’s not Grog.  It’s just a Cranberry Hot Toddy.)

4 cinnamon sticks

1/4 tsp clove

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cut tangerines crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds and remove seeds. Stick whole cloves into each slice of tangerine until the tangerine slices are mostly studded with the whole cloves.

In a large pot, simmer cranberry juice, sugar, studded tangerines and all the spices (including the rest of the whole cloves). Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Remove the tangerines and whole cloves with a slotted spoon or strainer. Add rum (if desired).  Serve in large mugs or heatproof glasses.  Enjoy!

Makes about 16 cups

Prep time: About 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 35 minutes

Storage tip: This makes quite a large batch. We recommend keeping the empty cranberry juice bottles for storing the leftover grog in the fridge.  It has stayed in our refrigerator for up to a month and still tastes great when reheated, either in the microwave or on the stovetop.