Total time: 25 minutes plus cooling time
Servings: Makes 2 1/2 cups syrup
Note: From Regina Schrambling. This is bracing as a substitute for crème de cassis in a kir royale before dinner (use demi-sec Champagne or a fruity Prosecco), or as a top-off for sparkling cider or even club soda. It will thicken and turn gelatinous as it sits, so make it fairly soon before using, or make it ahead, then reheat it and let it cool again on Thanksgiving.
1 cup sugar
10 white cardamom pods, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1. Combine the sugar, cardamom and ginger in a heavy saucepan. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Lower the heat to a simmer. Add the cranberries and cook, stirring occasionally, until they all pop, then simmer 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat. Strain into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to extract all the liquid, then discarding the solids. Stir in the maple syrup and lime juice. Cool completely.
3. Add about 2 tablespoons to a flute and pour sparkling wine, cider or club soda over. (Or top off each of those drinks with the syrup.)
Each serving of 2 tablespoons: 64 calories; 0 protein; 16 grams carbohydrates; 0 gams fiber; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 1 mg. sodium.