Washington Apple might not seem like it belongs on a cranberry cocktail list, but it’s actually a classic. Made from apple schnapps, whiskey, and cranberry juice, this sweet and tart cocktail is a breeze to make and goes down smoothly. It’s the perfect fall cocktail, especially for a Halloween party (it’s bright red!).
The French 75 is a classy, fizzy, simple cocktail that is often featured with appetizers or at brunch. Usually, a French 75 contains gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and champagne and tastes like a grown-up fizzy lemonade. However, with cranberry instead of lemon juice, this cocktail takes on a completely different flavor.
Another fizzy cocktail, this pink lemonade cocktail, involves soda and is perfect for sipping by the pool in summer. With Malibu, vodka, lime, and cranberry juice, it’s the ideal summer drink and has just a touch of the island feel to it. Surprisingly, this pink lemonade cocktail contains everything except lemons!
An Aperol spritz is a traditional pre-meal or breakfast drink, primarily using orange juice and Aperol. However, this twist on the spritz uses cocktail juice to contrast the almost bitter taste of the Aperol. With champagne and sparkling water, you might want to sip this fizzy drink for hours.
Bourbon stars in this cocktail, which has heavier, darker flavors reminiscent of fall nights and bonfires. While cranberry is a big part of the flavoring, blackberry liqueur adds a unique sweetness. The blending of the two berries makes for a unique and delicious cocktail experience.
Of course, everyone loves a Moscow Mule. From the iconic copper mugs to the refreshing flavors of lime and ginger, a Moscow Mule is a classic year-round cocktail. If you want to make the Mule a little more festive, add some cranberry juice to the recipe. It brings a different level of brightness to the flavor.
If you are on a special diet or avoiding sugar and processed foods, you have probably looked at other people’s holiday cocktails with a sigh of jealousy. However, this relatively simple orange cranberry vodka spritzer is low-sugar, keto-friendly, and relatively healthy! It’s a little more complicated but no less delicious than others on this list.
What goes better with cranberries than wine? Nothing, we would argue, but rose is a surprising choice. However, these spritzers are light, refreshing, and fruity. If you want a more complicated recipe with multiple fresh ingredients, this spritzer is a great way to keep your cocktails fresh and syrup-free.
If you are a fan of simple cocktails with lots of flavors, this cranberry fizz will hit the spot. A simple iced vodka, orange juice, and cranberry juice cocktail, this drink gets its fizz from sparkling water (although you can use tonic or sprite if you need to). It’s light and refreshing but simple to make.
A whiskey sour is a classic cocktail with whiskey and a sour mix. Usually, this sour mix involves lemon and lime in a sour syrup. However, if you include cranberry juice in your whiskey sour, you can make it with extremely simple ingredients. This recipe only uses whiskey, cranberry juice, and lemon juice.
Many of these cranberry cocktails are made with vodka or whiskey. However, it’s important to have a tequila-based cocktail - tequila is a staple in many liquor cabinets. This extremely easy tequila cocktail has a little taste of margarita with a splash of cranberry juice to liven it up.
The Cosmopolitan, or a Cosmo, is a classic cocktail with a grapefruit flavor. However, this twist on the Cosmo replaces the grapefruit juice with cranberry juice and adds vodka, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice. It’s simple and easy, and the recipe whips up a batch enough for a summer pool party.
The Madras is a fancy name for a vodka cranberry with some orange juice in it. However, The Madras is just as delicious as it is simple. The tartness of both the orange juice and cranberry juice makes it an excellent mixer with a clean, simple vodka. Try The Madras on your friends and impress them with your cocktail knowledge!
Of course, you can’t have a list of cranberry cocktails without including the Cape Codder. Although not many people know it by its name, a Cape Codder is equal parts cranberry juice and vodka (also known as a vodka cranberry). This simple, classic drink is easy to make and easier to drink.
If you love the simple taste of a gin and tonic and can’t always decide between a G&T and a vodka cranberry, this cocktail is the perfect blend. With gin, tonic, lime, and cranberry, it adds a splash of extra color and flavor to the classic gin and tonic. Order at the bar next time, or make it yourself at home!
The Sea Breeze enjoyed a bout of popularity in the 1980s and 1990s before falling into obscurity. However, its bright and refreshing flavor and a splash of cranberry juice won’t fail to make you think of summer days by the ocean. With vodka, grapefruit juice, and cranberry, this is an ideal poolside drink.
The mimosa is the most iconic brunch cocktail. Usually made with orange juice and prosecco, this cocktail is easy to make and sip while enjoying breakfast or sitting out by the pool. This recipe adds some cranberry juice to the traditional mimosa, making it a very light and breezy cocktail (but it’s still perfect for brunch).
No cocktail list is complete without a margarita. It’s one of the most well-loved cocktails in the world, and there are thousands of different variations of it. This cranberry margarita doesn’t replace anything in the original recipe; instead, it simply adds some cranberry juice for a more festive tequila flavor.
As you may have guessed from the name, the Poinsettia is a classic Christmas drink. It’s made with cranberry juice, prosecco, and Cointreau. If you have leftover champagne from Christmas and New Year, make a Poinsettia drink to celebrate the tidings of the season, and add some cranberry!
With that, we have a list of several cranberry cocktails that we think are worth a shot. Each of these features cranberry in a unique way and can be made without too many exotic ingredients.
If you tried one of these or have a different favorite cranberry cocktail, let us know in the comments which one you like the best!
Rocco is a Florida State University alumnus with years of bartending and hospitality experience. From slinging hundreds of vodka sodas a night in jam-packed college bars to serving carefully crafted cocktails in upscale restaurants, there’s not much he hasn’t done behind a bar. Now, Rocco shares his knowledge and passion for all things alcohol-related here on My Bartender for bibulous readers everywhere to enjoy.