cranberry cobbler

¾ cup sugar

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 lemon, cut into wedges

½ orange, sliced into thin rounds

1½ cups London dry gin

½ cup off-dry Sherry

6 mint sprigs

cranberry juice, if needed

Bring sugar and ¾ cup water to a boil in a medium sauce pan; stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour off all but 1 cup simple syrup; refrigerate remaining syrup for another use.

Heat syrup in pan almost to a boil' reduce heat to medium. Add cranberries and simmer until they just begin to burst, 2-3 minutes. Let cool in syrup.

Place 2 Tbsp. drained cranberries and 6 Tbsp. cranberry syrup in a large pitcher. Add lemon wedges and orange slices. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash fruit. Stir in gin and Sherry. Let steep for 5 minutes.

Strain into a medium pitcher. Fill 3 glasses with crushed ice. Pour half of mixture into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice; shake vigorously for 10 seconds. This is where I tasted and added more cranberry juice. Strain into prepared glasses, then mound with more crushed ice. Garnish each with a mint sprig and 3 cranberries. Repeat to make 3 more cocktails.