The cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus, various species) is the fruit of a small vining shrub that is native to a band of the northern hemisphere that stretches around the world. The cranberry grows in acidic soil that is flooded at harvest time which takes advantage of the fact that ripe cranberries float. 

Cranberries were introduced to American settlers by indigenous tribes, who used them for everything from medicine to dye and as a food source. By the early 19th century, cranberries were being farmed and shipped to Europe. Most of the cranberies harvested in the United States come from only a few states, with Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New Jersey producing major commercial crops.

Today, most cranberries in the United States during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cranberries are highly acidic, and are almost never eaten by themselves, but turned into chutneys, relishes, juices (which are either sweeteted or blended with another sweet juice like apple juice), baked into muffins, or dried and sweetened like raisins. 

The tartness of the cranberry means it works well to balance cocktails. They are a popular flavoring for liqueurs, bitters, vodkas, and shrubs

Some popular cocktails containing Cranberry

  • Craft Squirrel Sex Manhattan — Fernet Branca, Limoncello, Maraschino Liqueur, Eau de vie of Douglas Fir, Strawberry eau de vie, Tartaric acid powder, Raspberry Shrub, Cranberry, Demerara syrup, Grenadine
  • Northern Lights (David Delaney Jr.) — Sparkling white wine, Gin, Bitters, Cranberry, Cranberry sauce, Simple syrup, Lemon juice
  • Ginger Smash (Employees Only) — Gin, Apple liqueur, Cranberry, Lemon juice, Sugar, Ginger
  • Boston Bog — Rum, Apricot liqueur, Cranberry, Cranberry juice, Lime juice, Ginger syrup, Orange peel
  • Sweater Weather Sangria — Moscato d'Asti, Apple bitters, Cranberry, Pear-vanilla Juice, Cinnamon stick, Lemon juice, Grenadine, Pear