Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

Take stock, and make a little more room, with a quick clean of your fridge for National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. Celebrated on November 15th every year, it is aptly timed to help you clear your space before the Thanksgiving stuffing begins. Rather than making one big chore of it, do it a bit at a time. You can work on your fridge over the course of the next few days.

Start by scanning all of your condiments. Take note of anything you may be running low on and add it to your grocery list. Toss out empty, scary, “don’t know how old this is,” and anything you are truly not going to use again.  Not sure? Try consulting the FoodKeeper App, an online guide designed to help you cut down on food waste and give you solid advice on when food is no longer safe. Developed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute, FoodKeeper is also available in a mobile app that has recently been updated with an optional feature that notifies you of food safety recalls.  

Work top to bottom, starting on your top shelf. Discard anything you won’t use. Take note of anything you need to use up or can turn into a meal. Wipe down the shelf and the sides of your fridge with a multipurpose cleaner, or make your own with warm water, a drop of detergent, and baking soda or vinegar. You can take everything out and clean the entire shelf, or just clean in sections, depending on how much time you have.   Empty your crisper drawers. Give them a quick shaking over the sink, then wipe clean and dry.  Line drawers with clean paper towels and replace contents.  While you’re at it, take a peek in your freezer. Discard your ice and wash the bin of your ice maker, if you have one.

Here are some tips to help you keep your fridge clean all the time:

  • Get in the habit of wiping condiment jars and bottles before you put them away.
  • Keep a black Sharpie in a drawer close to your fridge and write the date on every item you open.
  • Wipe up any crumbs or drips as soon as you see them.
  • Don’t put anything away in a container that doesn’t seal well.
  • Clean your fridge out of opportunity.  Anytime you notice 3 or 4 things from one shelf out on the counter, empty the rest of the shelf and wipe it down.
  • Crisper drawers are easiest to clean as you are putting away groceries. They are already mostly empty and it only takes a few seconds to wipe clean and re-line with paper towels.
  • Keep cotton swabs in your kitchen.  Spritzed with a little cleaner, they are great for getting into tiny spots.

Your fridge is clean, time to celebrate! This Cranberry Champagne Cocktail is a quick and easy drink you can make right now and enjoy all through the holidays. Fast, festive, and merry-colored red, it lets you serve the same sparkly drink to all your guests, so everyone feels special and included, and isn’t that what the holidays are all about? When it’s time to raise a glass, they all look the same. Kids have a drink just like the grown ups and those that are abstaining have a drink to feel happy about, too.

Rinse cranberries well and freeze them on a parchment lined sheet. Transfer to a jar or zip-top bag in your freezer so they are ready to go. I used unsweetened cranberry juice so that I could make these with no added sugar if needed, but any cranberry juice is fine. You can make these with ginger ale, plain or flavored sparkling water, sparkling apple or grape juice or sparkling cider for non-alcoholic options. I tried a berry flavored hard cider in place of the Champagne so I could make 2 drinks in a hurry, and I suggest you do, too!

Cranberry Champagne Cocktail

makes 1 

  • cranberries (frozen)
  • 1-ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
  • 1 wedge lime
  • Champagne, Prosecco or Cava

Add a spoonful of cranberries to the bottom of a chilled champagne flute. Add cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. Top with Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling beverage. 

– recipe by Tyler Florence,

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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