This sweet, berry-infused liqueur makes a lovely variation on a Kir Royale when mixed with Champagne or sparkling wine. Pour it into pretty bottles to give as a holiday or hostess gift. Everyone will think you went to a lot of trouble to make this cordial, but it's actually as simple as simmering water.
6 cups inexpensive medium-bodied red wine (such as Merlot or Shiraz)
5 cups granulated sugar
1 bag fresh or frozen cranberries
3 cups brandy
In a large, nonreactive pot, bring wine, sugar, and cranberries to a simmer. Cook until cranberries pop their skins.
Cool mixture to room temperature; then refrigerate 2 to 4 days to steep berries.
Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve; then stir in brandy and transfer to glass bottles. Cordial will keep for up to 6 months.