Cranberry Margarita With Apple-Cinnamon Tequila

Cranberry Margarita With Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail

There's no need to put the margaritas down when summer ends, simply switch to a more seasonal recipe. The cranberry margarita is a fantastic choice in the midst of autumn. It has the iconic flavors of apple, cinnamon, and cranberry with a tequila background, and it's a lot of fun for a cool weather party.

This cranberry margarita is no ordinary fruity tequila cocktail. It has depth and that warm, soothing character that we crave come fall. The signature ingredient is the apple-cinnamon tequila. You will have to make it yourself because there are none available on the market. The great news is that it's incredibly easy and takes very little work, just a bit of patience.

The tequila infusion requires just three ingredients: tequila, two apples, and two cinnamon sticks. You will also want an infusion jar, such as a large mason jar with a lid that has a tight seal. You can make as much apple-cinnamon tequila as you like, though it's often better to begin with half a bottle of tequila on your first batch. It takes about a week to infuse (or you can take a shortcut if you don't have that much time). Once that's ready, you'll build the drink with a standard margarita formula, using cranberry juice as the featured fruit.

Ingredients

  • For the Apple-Cinnamon Tequila:
  • 2 large apples
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 to 3 cups reposado tequila (or blanco)
  • For the Cranberry Margarita:
  • 2 ounces apple-cinnamon tequila
  • 1/2 ounce triple sec
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: apple wedge or lime twist

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, the cranberry margarita is broken down into workable categories to help you plan for preparation and assembly.

Make the Apple-Cinnamon Tequila

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. Wash the apples and cut them into wedges that will fit into your infusion jar.

    Cutting Apple for a Tequila Infusion
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Place the sliced apples and cinnamon sticks into the jar, then fill it up with tequila.

    Making an Apple-Cinnamon Tequila Infusion
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. Tighten the lid and give it a good shake. Store in a cool, dark place for 5 to 7 days, shaking it daily to mix up the ingredients. After the fifth day, give your tequila a taste test. If you think you'd like a little more flavor, allow the infusion to continue, checking it daily until it reaches your ideal taste. There may be a point where you want to remove the cinnamon and allow the apples to continue infusing to accentuate that flavor.

    Infusing Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Once the flavor is to your liking, strain out the apples and cinnamon sticks.

    Straining Apple-Cinnamon Tequila Infusion
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  6. Pour the tequila into a bottle or jar, seal, and use in the cranberry margarita or other cocktails. Store as you would any other liquor.

    Apple-Cinnamon Infused Tequila
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Make the Cranberry Margarita

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Cranberry Margarita With Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine infused tequila, triple sec, cranberry juice, and lime juice.

    Mixing a Cranberry Margarita
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Shake well.

    Shaking a Cranberry Margarita
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. Strain into a chilled margarita or cocktail glass.

    Straining a Cranberry Margarita
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Garnish with an apple wedge or lime twist.

    Cranberry Margarita With Apple-Cinnamon Tequila
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Tips

Which Tequila and Apples Are Best for the Infusion?

For the tequila, a blanco (silver) tequila is nice, but a reposado tequila is even better. The tequila's slight oakiness from aging and earthy agave flavors are perfect for the apple-cinnamon flavors. You'll find that red apples are the better choice here. Any of the green varieties are just a little too tart for the intended warm and cozy flavor of this seasonal infusion. Save those for your summer vodka and gin infusions and use red apples for flavoring tequila, whiskey, brandy, and rum.

Recipe Variation

The apple and cinnamon flavors really do make this cranberry margarita unique and give the cocktail dimension. If you don't have a week to wait for the tequila infusion, there is a faster way to get those flavors into the drink. The trick is to make an apple-cinnamon simple syrup.

  • While you could use fresh apples, the quickest way to get a great apple flavor is to split the syrup's water with apple juice or cider. Using this cinnamon syrup recipe, simply use 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup apple juice. It can be ready within a couple of hours and you'll be all set to mix up your margarita.
  • When using the syrup shortcut, you will find it best to adjust the cranberry margarita's sweetener, which is the triple sec. Knock the triple sec pour down to 1/4 ounce, add 1/2 ounce of apple-cinnamon syrup, and ramp up the lime juice to just under 3/4 ounce. This drink should have a nice balance of flavor and you can always adjust it further to suit your taste.

How Strong Is the Cranberry Margarita?

Assuming you use an 80-proof tequila and a 30-proof triple sec, the cranberry margarita is relatively mild. That's due in part to the generous amount of cranberry juice used in the drink. On average, we can say that it weighs in at around 21 percent ABV (42 proof). It's the typical strength of most margaritas.