Cranberry Cordial

colander of cranberries on iceWhile doing your Thanksgiving food shopping in the next few weeks, make sure you grab an extra bag of cranberries.  That’s all it takes, plus some wine, sugar and brandy and you’ll have a great liqueur to drink after your meal or as an aperitif mixed with sparkling wine to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season.  I came by the recipe two years ago while on a styling assignment for Yankee Magazine on a cranberry story written by Amy Traverso. I like to double the recipe, put it in pretty bottles and give as a gift.


  • 6 cups inexpensive medium-bodied red wine
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries (about 12 oz)
  • 3 cups brandy

In a large, nonreactive pot, bring wine, sugar and cranberries to a simmer.  Cook until cranberries pop their cranberries

Cool mixture to room temperature, then refrigerate 2 to 4 days to seep berries

Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; then stir in brandy and transfer to glass bottles.  This cordial will keep up to 6 months.cranberry cordial on ice

NOTE:  You can also find this recipe along with other great ones in the special publication of  Yankee “Lost and Vintage Recipes”cranberry cocktail

From my kitchen to yours,

CK, la fille du boucher

Schofield Clover

When our son Emmet came back from a year living in New Zealand last winter, not only had he discovered a beautiful country, made new friends and created memories to last a lifetime; he came back with a new love: MIixology.

Emmet created this cocktail back in September when he was asked to represent the restaurant he works at for the Whiskey Live Boston event.  As I watched him perfecting his recipe, getting inventive, passionate and excited about the ingredients I could not help smiling and thinking that the apple does not fall far from the tree.

So here it is, the drink that won the Whiskey Live Boston event and that Emmet likes to describe as a “fall time” lemonade: The Schofield Clover.  Of course, if you want the real deal, or a number of other inventive cocktails, head to Harvard Square and visit Upstairs on the Square (at 91 Winthrop Street, Cambridge).

SCHOFIELD CLOVER  (one serving)

  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz allspice liqueur
  • 1/2 oz orgeat syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 dashes cherry bitters
  • garnish with an orange zest

Add all ingredients into a Boston shaker and shake.  Pour into a rocks over ice or up in a chilled martini glass.  Then use a “channel knife” to zest the drink with the orange.  Using a channel knife releases the citrus oils and adds flavor to the drink. The orange peel in the drink is merely a garnish.

NOTE:  Emmet recommends using Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  He says it is inexpensive and perfect for mixing but, by all means you can use your favorite Bourbon.  Orgeat is a sweet almond syrup available at most liquor stores, and is most commonly attributed to the unique taste found in a cocktail known as a “Mai Tai”. Allspice liqueur (also called Allspice Dram) is a bit more difficult to find, but St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram is probably the most popular.

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher  (as well as EK the butcher’s grandson)


When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade but “I”….make limoncello! That was the caption on a New Yorker cartoon my daughter sent me a while back. Oh! you know me so well, I thought .  As a food stylist, life does give you lemons and I am not talking figuratively here!

One perk of the job is to bring home delicious food and beautiful produce that is divvied up amongst the team once the shoot is over;  but how many lemons can one bring home?  Being one who always tries to make the most out of leftovers,  four years ago I started making limoncello; recycling those beautiful fruits into gifts for family, friends, clients and co-workers.

I always have a batch going but come October I go in full production to make sure everybody is treated with a small bottle for the Holiday season.  If you start now, you too will be able to enjoy a nice glass of limoncello in December.


  • 10 to 12 lemons
  • 3.5 cups vodka ( 80 proof)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar

Wash, scrub and dry the lemons.  Remove the peel with a vegetable peeler making sure you get as little pith as possible.  The pith is the white fiber between the peel and the lemon and will make the limoncello bitter.

Place the peels in a 2 quarts glass container with a lid.  Pour the vodka over the peels making sure they are fully covered with the liquid.  Cover the container and let sit 4 to 5 weeks in a dark cool place (pantry or basement is great).

When ready the vodka will have a nice yellow coloring and smell lemony.  Make a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  Pour the syrup into the vodka mixture and let stand at room temperature for another day.

Strain the limoncello through a fine mesh colander.  Discard the lemon peels.  Transfer the limoncello in clean bottles.  Seal and label the bottles.  Keep in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve, share or give.

I like mine on crushed ice at the end of a meal as a digestif.

NOTE:  I also make a variation with lime since life also gives me a lot of limes.  Follow the same directions, just substitute limes for lemons.

From my kitchen to yours!

CK, la fille du boucher,