Cranberry Kir Royale
2 cups frozen cranberries, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoons orange zest
1 bottle Champagne
(start by chilling champagne glasses)
Add cranberries, orange juice, zest, and sugar to large pan and set over medium heat until berries break down slightly and liquid is syrupy, 12 to 15 minutes. *Pour into a blender and process, be careful of the hot liquid expanding when you blend - use a towel over the top of the blender.
Strain and discard any solids, then set aside and cool.
Pour 2 tablespoons of cranberry-orange syrup into the bottoms of 4 chilled champagne glasses. Add a few cranberries to each glass and gently top off each glass with champagne.
**When blending hot liquids: remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.