Makes about 1¼ liters

1½ cups sugar

3 cups cranberries

One 1-liter bottle vodka

Strips of lime or orange zest (optional)

1. In a large saucepan, bring sugar and 1½ cups water to a simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves.

2. Place cranberries in a food processor and pulse until they are broken up. Add cranberries, vodka and citrus zest (if using) to the sugar syrup in the pot. Stir well, then transfer to a large jar or two, cover and shake well. Shake the mixture every day for two weeks. At this point, you can either strain the mixture into smaller bottles for gift giving or continue to infuse the spirit in the large jar. It will keep for up to two months.

Adapted by The New York Times from Corey Balazowich