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Fresh Cranberry Vodka Cocktail

Fresh Cranberry Vodka Cocktail

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When you're through making cranberry sauce for the holidays, don't throw out the leftover ingredients - use them to make a vodka cranberry.MORE+LESS-

ByNY Barfly

Updated March 8, 2017


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  • 1

    Gather your ingredients.

  • 2

    Cranberries are too tart to just muddle into your drink - you'll need to cook them down with some sugar to make sure they are properly sweetened for your drink. Add enough cranberries to a saucepan to cover the bottom, then add half a cup of water and a quarter cup of sugar (if you like sweet drinks, feel free to add more). Cook and stir the mixture over moderate heat for 5 minute or until all the cranberries have burst. This cranberry mixture will be enough for 5-6 drinks.

  • 3

    Once mixture has cooled, add 2-3 spoonfuls of cranberries to your glass.

  • 4

    Using a muddler or wooden spoon, press down on the cranberries to release leftover juice and break down any large bits of fruit.

  • 5

    Add two ounces of vodka to your cranberry mixture.

  • 6

    Fill glass three quarters of the way with seltzer and add a few ice cubes.

  • 7

    Stir. Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and two fresh cranberries on a toothpick.

  • 8


Nutrition Information

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More About This Recipe

  • Fresh cranberries and vodka are the perfect winter drink!When you’re through making fresh cranberry sauce for the fall and winter holidays, don’t throw out the leftover ingredients – use them to make a bog-to-table vodka cranberry.Once you have the cranberries prepared, mixing this seasonal before-dinner drink is as easy as, well, adding vodka!

A Smashing Cranberry-Vodka Cocktail

If I'm not ordering or serving up bourbon old fashioneds muddled with an orange slice and a few cherries, I'm dreaming of different riffs on them. Hence, this particular cranberry-vodka cocktail is loosely inspired by my one and only favorite cocktail. The star ingredient is homemade cranberry vodka, which is infused with fresh cranberries, vanilla bean, orange peel, and sugar. The whole thing marinates for a week, transforming the vodka into a ruby-hued beverage almost too good to savor. As for the cranberries, those sweet, boozy morsels have a similar flavor and texture to brandied cherries, making them a very suitable cocktail garnish.

The method for this cocktail is simple: muddle up a lemon slice and a few preserved cranberries, and top with ice and the cranberry vodka. If you're looking to be fancy, garnish the drink with 3-5 preserved cranberries threaded through a toothpick and/or an orange twist. But frankly, people will be impressed enough that you took the time to homemake cranberry vodka, so let it shine!

The Dude's favorite drink is a three-ingredient wonder. If vodka and cream and coffee are among your favorite things, this easy vodka cocktail may be your jam.

And here's a steaming, comforting version of the classic coffee, cream, and vodka cocktail to save for winter drinking.

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Intermediate: Cranberry-Lemon Tea

In this refreshing sour, we’re combining cranberry with lemon, vodka, and some strong-brewed black tea to add its distinctive, robust flavor. Great as a pre-dinner sipper. And again, don’t forget to double-strain.

Instructions: First, make a strong tea with one black teabag in four ounces of hot water. Then, in a cocktail shaker with ice, combine an ounce and a half of vodka, an ounce of that strong tea, 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, one tablespoon cranberry jelly, and a quarter-ounce simple syrup. Shake until very well-chilled, then double-strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon half-moons and cranberries.

Fun Cranberry Cocktails

Looking for something a little different? Look no further than these fun cranberry cocktails.

Cranberry Kumquat Fizz

Kumquats are tiny sour citrus fruits. They add a fun element to this tasty drink.


  • 2 kumquats, sliced plus 1 kumquat, halved for garnish
  • ½ lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 2 dashes cranberry cocktail bitters
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1½ ounces cranberry vodka
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer
  • Cherry for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the sliced kumquats and lime with the sugar and bitters.
  2. Add the cranberry juice, cranberry vodka, and ice. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with the kumquat halves and a cherry.

Barney's Tropical Vacation

What happens when you mix red cranberry juice cocktail with blue curaçao? You get a purple drink that has the same color as Barney the dinosaur. So this drink is clearly what Barney drinks when he goes on a tropical vacation.


  • 1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
  • ½ ounce pineapple juice
  • ¾ ounce blue curaçao
  • 1½ ounces coconut rum
  • Ice
  • Club soda


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the cranberry juice cocktail, pineapple juice, blue curaçao, and coconut rum.
  2. Add ice and shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a collins glass filled with ice. Top with club soda. Stir gently.

Candied Brandied Apple

This martini style cocktail combines the tart flavor of cranberries with sweet grenadine and Calvados, a French apple brandy.


  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • 2 ounces Calvados (or another apple brandy)
  • Ice
  • Fresh cranberry for garnish


  1. Chill a cocktail glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lemon juice, cranberry juice, grenadine, and Calvados.
  3. Add ice and shake to chill.
  4. Strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh cranberry.

Frozen Cran-Raspberry Rita

Tart, sweet, and frozen, this is a refreshing take on a blended margarita.


  • ¼ cup prepared cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ¾ ounce orange-flavored liqueur
  • 1½ ounces silver tequila
  • 1 cup crushed ice


  1. Chill a margarita glass.
  2. In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into the chilled margarita glass.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Red Hot

Love cinnamon? Then you'll enjoy this spicy take on a cranberry cocktail.


  • 1 orange wedge
  • Sugar
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce pomegranate juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1½ ounces Fireball whisky
  • Ice
  • Cranberries and pomegranate arils for garnish


  1. Run the orange wedge around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass. Dip the rim in sugar.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and Fireball.
  3. Add the ice and shake to chill.
  4. Strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with fresh cranberries and pomegranate arils.

Cran-Apple Toddy

Looking for a tasty winter warmer? Try this cran-apple toddy with the bite of ginger.


  • 6 ounces water
  • 1 ounce cran-apple juice
  • 2 slices gingerroot, peeled
  • 1 ginger teabag
  • 1½ ounces apple whiskey


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water, cran-apple juice, and gingerroot to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the teabag. Steep for five minutes.
  2. Discard the teabag and gingerroot and pour into a mug. Add the apple whiskey. Stir.