Get into the holiday spirit by combining cranberry juice, your favorite tequila, orange liquor, and lime juice into an irresistible drink.
What Is A Cranberry Margarita?
A Cranberry Margarita is made with the base ingredients from a Classic Margarita recipe and adds cranberry juice. This turns it into a sippable cocktail that's perfect for holiday gatherings. You can rim the glass with a little sugar, and throw a few fresh cranberries, and a sprig of rosemary for a little holiday cheer!
Difference Between Cranberry Margarita And Classic Vodka Cranberry
Apart from the obvious distinction of the use of tequila instead of vodka, the cranberry margarita is not a 2-ingredient drink; it has a more complex flavor and citrus notes from the Cointreau or Triple Sec as well as the addition of lime juice. In my opinion, it's a much richer and enjoyable drink that wakes up my tastebuds.
If you thought the classic cranberry vodka was delicious, wait until you’ve tried this cranberry margarita! Here’s everything you need to get started:
- Blanco or Silver Tequila: use your favorite brand.
- Cointreau or Triple Sec: these orange-flavored liquors will sweeten and balance this cranberry cocktail.
- Cranberry juice: use any brand. Be sure to use juice and not bottled concentrate.
- Lime juice: freshly squeezed is best. You’ll need about one lime for this.
- Simple syrup: optional for added sweetness.
- Sugar: optional for rimming. While salt is traditionally used to rim margarita cocktail glasses, sugar seems to be the preferred option for this recipe.
- Cranberries: use fresh whole cranberries for serving as garnish if you like.
- Rosemary: a sprig of rosemary is another lovely garnish idea that will elevate this cocktail.
Make next: Thanksgiving Margarita
How to Make a Cranberry Margarita
Learn how to make this refreshing and festive holiday margarita with only a few simple steps:
- Prep the Glass
If you love a rimmed glass, rub a lime wedge or slice of lime along the rim and dip it into a shallow plate of sugar. Set it aside to dry.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, cranberry juice, lime juice, tequila, Cointreau or Triple Sec, and simple syrup (if using).
Secure the top and shake well until the sides are frosted.
- Serve & Garnish
Fill the glass with fresh ice and pour the cranberry margarita mixture through a strainer. Garnish the glass with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.
Make next: Mistletoe Margarita
Does This Cranberry Margarita Need Simple Syrup?
I personally don't use simple syrup when making this cranberry margarita since the cranberry juice combined with the orange liquor is sweet enough for me. However, if you prefer a sweeter-tasting cocktail, I've added the amount you'd need in the recipe card below.
How to Serve Cranberry Margaritas
I find this cocktail to be terrific by itself; however, you can make it more festive by rimming the glass with sugar -I find it goes better than salt- and garnish with fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.
- 2 ounces tequila, blanco or silver
- 1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- 1 ounce lime juice
- ½ teaspoon simple syrup, optional
- Sugar for rimming, optional*
- Cranberries, for serving, optional
- Rosemary sprig, optional
- If you enjoy a rimmed glass, prep the rim by rubbing the glass with a lime wedge along the rim. Spread some sugar on a plate, roll it over the sugar to coat the rim, and set aside.
- Fill a shaker with ice and add tequila, Cointreau or triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice, and simple syrup (if using). Shake well to combine until the shaker is frosted.
- Fill the prepared glass with fresh ice and pour the cocktail through the strainer.
- Garnish with some fresh cranberries and a rosemary sprig.
- While traditional margaritas are rimmed with salt, I enjoy this cocktail rimmed with sugar. You can also serve it without.