This simple cranberry gin cocktail is the festive cocktail you will be making on repeat this holiday season. No hard-to-find ingredients or complicated steps. Just a classic cocktail you can easily make at home. We also included a sparkling gin cocktail variation and a pitcher recipe so you can make it for all your holiday gatherings.
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Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
It is that time of year when I start digging out all my favorite Christmas cocktails. From my favorite crockpot mulled wine recipe to my husband's famous dairy-free eggnog, we love cozy cocktails around here.
In This Post
📖Why This Recipe Works
I tested this recipe using lemon juice, lime juice, and orange juice. And while I thought they were all good, orange won out with the recipe testers. Orange and cranberry are a classic pairing.
We also tested with cranberry simple syrup and a standard simple syrup. And the testers felt the extra effort wasn't called for in this type of drink.
I think we found the perfect balance in this recipe.
Gin- A dry gin works best for this recipe. I usually use Bombay Sapphire or Hendrick's Gin.
Cranberry Juice- Use unsweetened cranberry juice, not cranberry cocktail which has other flavors and juice added.
Simple Syrup- To make a simple syrup heat one part water and one part sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cool before using. It will keep in for 2 weeks in an airtight container.
Try our demerara simple syrup for a richer flavor.
Orange Juice- Fresh squeezed is always preferred. For a boozier drink, add orange liqueur like Cointreau.
For garnish, I like to add an orange slice (or an orange twist if I feel fancy), a sprig of fresh rosemary, and a few fresh cranberries.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Cranberry Gin Cocktail
I typically make all my cocktail recipes for 2 people, so the quantities may seem higher than other recipes you might find online.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add the gin, pure cranberry juice, orange juice, and simple syrup.
- Secure the lid and shake vigorously. When the outside of the cocktail shaker frosts over the cocktail is ready.
- Fill two glasses with ice. Strain the cranberry cocktail, dividing it between the two glasses.
- Pour over the club soda and garnish.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
Freeze fresh cranberries to garnish your drink. They look pretty and keep your drink chilled without watering it down.
This recipe can be transformed into so many different drinks, from switching out the gin for vodka to making a spicy version. Here are my 3 favorite variations.
Cranberry Gin Pitcher Cocktail
To make this recipe for a crowd, mix the following in a pitcher.
- 3 cups dry gin
- 3 cups cranberry juice
- 2 cups simple syrup
- 1 cup orange juice
Keep in the fridge until it is time to serve. Add frozen cranberries to keep it cold. Top individual glasses with club soda.
Cranberry Gin and Tonic
Swap out the soda water for tonic water and cut the simple syrup at least in half, or out entirely.
Cranberry Gin Sparkling Cocktail
Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into a stemmed cocktail glass, no ice. Top with prosecco or sparkling wine.
Holiday Appetizer Recipes
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Cranberry Gin Cocktail
- 3 ounces gin
- 3 ounces cranberry juice unsweetened (not cranberry cocktail- see notes)
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
- 3 ounces club soda
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add your gin, cranberry juice, simple syrup, and orange juice. Shake until3 ounces gin, 3 ounces cranberry juice, 2 ounces simple syrup, 1 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
- Fill two glasses with ice. Strain the drink, dividing between the glasses.
- Top with club soda and garnish with cranberries, orange twist, and/ or a sprig of mint or rosemary.3 ounces club soda
- If you use a cranberry juice cocktail, which contains sugar, you will need to reduce or eliminate the simple syrup.
- To make a sparkling cranberry gin cocktail swap prosecco or sparkling wine for club soda.
- See blog posts for pitcher instructions.