Fresh Cranberry Cocktail

Fresh cranberry cocktail
Michael Paul / Getty Images
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
231 Calories
0g Fat
37g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 231
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 16mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 34mg 171%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 162mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fall is cranberry harvest season and the most ubiquitous way to savor the fruit is as sauce at the holiday table. But a cocktail is also a wonderful vessel for enjoying these pretty red berries and is the perfect way to toast the festive season. This simple drink is made from fresh cranberries, vodka (or bourbon), mint, lime, and sugar and then is topped off with a bit of ginger ale for a little fizz.

Although frozen cranberries are available, it's best to make this drink with fresh cranberries, which start showing up in grocery store produce departments near Thanksgiving. The tartness of fresh cranberries is tempered by some sweetness from brown sugar and ginger ale, natural companions to cranberry's flavors.

The cranberries only need to be washed; they don't require soaking or cooking, and the tiny seeds on the inside are entirely edible.


  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, about 8 berries

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka, or bourbon

  • 5 small fresh mint leaves

  • 1 medium lime wedge

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 5 ounces ginger ale

  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the cranberries, vodka, mint, lime, and sugar in a cocktail shaker.

  3. Using a muddling stick (or the back of a tablespoon), muddle the mixture until the cranberries are slightly crushed and the mint is bruised.

  4. Add ice and shake for approximately 10 seconds.

  5. Place the mixture into a rocks glass with ice and add the ginger ale. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

  6. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variations

  • To make this drink into a cranberry mocktail, simply eliminate the vodka.
  • The sweetness of apple, especially apple cider, is a great addition to this cocktail recipe as it balances out the tartness of the cranberry.
  • Orange, lime, or even grapefruit can add a layer of flavor to a cranberry cocktail. The bitterness of the grapefruit mixes nicely with the tartness of the cranberries.

Cocktail Garnish Tips

Besides a well-stocked bar, you'll want a few tools on hand to make the best garnishes for this and other cocktails.

  • Lemon peeler, also called a citrus stripper, makes citrus peel twists.
  • Melon baller so you can add a melon ball to the bottom of a martini.
  • A channel knife can make finer ratchets or lines in fruit, and also makes it easier to make spirals from large fruit such as oranges or grapefruit.
  • A handheld zester allows you to add zest to salts for a colorful salt or sugar rim, and can also be used to make fruit strips.
  • A small, dedicated, nonporous cutting board for cutting lemon wheels, carrot sticks, or celery stalks.
  • A sharp paring knife will ensure the lime or lemon is cut at the right angle to create those perfect wedges.