Christmas Martini Cocktail Drink

Christmas Martini

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

In search of a festive cocktail? The Christmas Martini recipe is your answer, combining choice ingredients to make a drink that shines.

Christmas Martini Recipe

Get festive with our Christmas Martini recipe! With gin, cranberry juice, and lime, it's the holiday cocktail you've been waiting for.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

191 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh cranberries, for garnish, optional
  • Lime twist, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours.
  • Combine ingredients: In the cocktail shaker, add ½ oz lime juice, ½ oz Triple Sec, 1 oz cranberry juice, and 2 oz Gin along with some ice.
  • Mix Well: Shake the mixture vigorously.
  • Strain: Remove your glass from the freezer and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Add a few fresh cranberries or a twist of lime to the glass for garnish.

Notes

 Substitutes:

  • Gin: If gin isn't your spirit of choice or you don't have any on hand, I've successfully swapped it out for vodka. The drink remains smooth but takes on a slightly different character.
  • Triple Sec: You can replace Triple Sec with Cointreau if you're after a more refined orange flavor. If neither is available, a splash of orange juice can give you that citrus kick, although the drink might be slightly sweeter.
  • Cranberry Juice: Pomegranate juice can be a fantastic alternative. It's a bit sweeter and less tart but still festive!

Making a Pitcher of Christmas Martini:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, multiply all ingredients by 8. You'd need 16 oz of gin, 8 oz of cranberry juice, 4 oz of Triple Sec, and 4 oz of lime juice.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher.
  • Serve: Pour the mix into chilled Martini glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: I recommend a non-alcoholic gin alternative. Many brands offer these, and they replicate the botanical flavor profile nicely.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Opt for an orange-infused simple syrup. You can make this by simmering sugar, water, and orange zest.
  • Follow Original Steps: Use these non-alcoholic replacements and proceed as detailed in the main recipe.

Making it Vegan:

Good news! Martini is inherently vegan this Christmas as long as you ensure your Triple Sec or any substitute doesn't contain animal-derived products (some alcoholic products might use animal-derived fining agents). Always check the label or inquire with the manufacturer if unsure.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
191
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
3
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Potassium
 
44
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.03
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
20
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
7
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Christmas Martini Cocktail Drink

Christmas Martini Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Get festive with our Christmas Martini recipe! With gin, cranberry juice, and lime, it's the holiday cocktail you've been waiting for.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 191

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz cranberry juice
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh cranberries - for garnish, optional
  • Lime twist - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Martini Glass
  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill the Glass: Place your Martini glass in the freezer for a few hours.
  • Combine ingredients: In the cocktail shaker, add ½ oz lime juice, ½ oz Triple Sec, 1 oz cranberry juice, and 2 oz Gin along with some ice.
  • Mix Well: Shake the mixture vigorously.
  • Strain: Remove your glass from the freezer and strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Add a few fresh cranberries or a twist of lime to the glass for garnish.

Notes

 Substitutes:

  • Gin: If gin isn't your spirit of choice or you don't have any on hand, I've successfully swapped it out for vodka. The drink remains smooth but takes on a slightly different character.
  • Triple Sec: You can replace Triple Sec with Cointreau if you're after a more refined orange flavor. If neither is available, a splash of orange juice can give you that citrus kick, although the drink might be slightly sweeter.
  • Cranberry Juice: Pomegranate juice can be a fantastic alternative. It's a bit sweeter and less tart but still festive!

Making a Pitcher of Christmas Martini:

  • Scale: For a pitcher serving 8, multiply all ingredients by 8. You'd need 16 oz of gin, 8 oz of cranberry juice, 4 oz of Triple Sec, and 4 oz of lime juice.
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher.
  • Serve: Pour the mix into chilled Martini glasses, garnish, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: I recommend a non-alcoholic gin alternative. Many brands offer these, and they replicate the botanical flavor profile nicely.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Opt for an orange-infused simple syrup. You can make this by simmering sugar, water, and orange zest.
  • Follow Original Steps: Use these non-alcoholic replacements and proceed as detailed in the main recipe.

Making it Vegan:

Good news! Martini is inherently vegan this Christmas as long as you ensure your Triple Sec or any substitute doesn't contain animal-derived products (some alcoholic products might use animal-derived fining agents). Always check the label or inquire with the manufacturer if unsure.

 

What is a Christmas Martini?

Christmas Martini is a twist on the martini, incorporating flavors like cranberry and lime. This cocktail became popular due to its holiday-themed ingredients that capture the season’s spirit. It’s not just the name that evokes festivities; the ingredients resonate with Christmas celebrations. Even without bar experience, whipping up a Christmas Martini is straightforward, and the result always feels special.

A side shot of a Christmas Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a black stone coaster placed on a white table, with two lavander sprig, an orange and a red cloth around.

What is a Christmas Martini made of – The ingredients

For a Christmas Martini, you will need the following:

  • Gin: The primary spirit that provides a clean, juniper-forward base.
  • Cranberry Juice: Adds a festive red hue and a slightly tart flavor.
  • Triple Sec: An orange liqueur that introduces a hint of citrus sweetness.
  • Lime Juice: Brightens the cocktail with its fresh acidity.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the drink, ensuring it’s served cold.
  • Fresh Cranberries (optional for garnish): Offer a decorative touch and reinforce the cranberry flavor.
  • Lime Twist (optional for garnish): Adds an aromatic zestiness to the drink’s presentation.

Triple sec, cranberry juice, gin, and limes laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a Christmas Martini?

Our guide shows you how to make a Christmas Martini easily:

1
<p>Start by chilling your Martini glass, placing it in the freezer for a few hours or stirring some ice cubes to ensure the cocktail stays cold.</p>

Start by chilling your Martini glass, placing it in the freezer for a few hours or stirring some ice cubes to ensure the cocktail stays cold.

2
<p>Pour the lime juice into the cocktail shaker.</p>

Pour the lime juice into the cocktail shaker.

3
<p>Add triple sec to the shaker.</p>

Add triple sec to the shaker.

4
<p>Add cranberry juice to the mix.</p>

Add cranberry juice to the mix.

5
<p>Pour gin into the shaker.</p>

Pour gin into the shaker.

6
<p>Add ice cubes to the shaker.</p>

Add ice cubes to the shaker.

7
<p>Shake the mixture vigorously for 15 seconds to blend and chill the ingredients properly.</p>

Shake the mixture vigorously for 15 seconds to blend and chill the ingredients properly.

8
<p>Take out your chilled Martini glass from the freezer or remove the ice cubes from the glass.</p>

Take out your chilled Martini glass from the freezer or remove the ice cubes from the glass.

9
<p>Strain the contents of the shaker into the Martini glass, ensuring no ice or unwanted particles make their way into the drink.</p>

Strain the contents of the shaker into the Martini glass, ensuring no ice or unwanted particles make their way into the drink.

10
<p>In case of garnish with a twist of lime to add aroma and presentation, start by squeezing the lemon peel over the glass.</p>

In case of garnish with a twist of lime to add aroma and presentation, start by squeezing the lemon peel over the glass.

11
<p>Then twist it over the glass.</p>

Then twist it over the glass.

12
<p>And, place it into the cocktail.</p>

And, place it into the cocktail.

13
<p>Enjoy your Christmas Martini!</p>

Enjoy your Christmas Martini!

Best Christmas Martini

The best Christmas Martini strikes a balance between the sharp juniper gin notes and cranberry’s festive tartness. Choosing a quality gin lays the foundation for this holiday favorite. Many aficionados recommend Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray for their clean profiles that mingle seamlessly with the cranberry’s zesty bite. But for a truly exceptional Christmas Martini, consider splurging on Hendrick’s. Its subtle rose and cucumber infusions offer an intriguing twist, making your holiday sipper stand out. Pair it with premium, unsweetened cranberry juice, and you’re on your way to crafting a drink that’s the toast of the season.

Christmas Martini with Vodka

While gin traditionally anchors a Christmas Martini, don’t let that deter you from exploring vodka’s potential. Vodka’s clean, neutral profile can let the festive flavors shine more brightly. With their crisp and pure profiles, Grey Goose and Belvedere are surefire picks. Yet, for an impeccable Christmas Martini experience, consider using Tito’s Handmade Vodka. It’s smooth, crafted from corn, and gluten-free – making it friendly for those with sensitivities. So, if gin’s not your thing, grab a quality vodka and let your holiday martini shine in a new light.

A side shot of a Christmas Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a black stone coaster placed on a white table, with a jigger, an orange and a red cloth around.

Using Christmas Martini Glasses

When enjoying a Christmas Martini, the right glass can elevate the experience. Traditional martini glasses, with their wide, shallow bowl, are ideal for this festive drink, showcasing the rich hues of the cocktail beautifully. Brands like Riedel and Spiegelau offer crystal-clear glasses that are both elegant and durable. However, seek out glasses with subtle gold or silver accents or those with etched snowflake designs for a holiday flair. These details enhance the festive vibe and make sipping your Christmas Martini feel like a special occasion every time.

What is a White Christmas Martini?

A White Christmas Martini is a creamy, festive cocktail that captures the essence of the holiday season. It typically combines vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur or creme de cacao, and milk. The result is a smooth and rich drink, reminiscent of a liquid white chocolate treat. It often boasts a milky white appearance, aligning with its “White Christmas” moniker. To further enhance its festive allure, it’s frequently garnished with a sprinkle of grated white chocolate or coconut flakes. This martini offers a delightful twist on traditional holiday beverages, delivering a luxurious sipper perfect for yuletide celebrations.

A side shot of a Christmas Martini cocktail in a martini glass on a black stone coaster placed on a white table, with a jigger, an orange on a red cloth behind.

Variations

Ready to try new versions? We’ve got some favorites you might like:

  • Candy Cane Martini: This one brings a festive twist with its peppermint and vanilla notes, resembling the classic holiday candy. The peppermint gives a cool, refreshing taste, while the vanilla adds a comforting sweetness. I love how this reminds me of classic holiday treats; the cool peppermint flavor always puts me in a cheerful holiday mood.
  • Mistletoe Martini: This creation features cherry and lime, offering a balance of sweet and tangy flavors. It’s simple yet effective, with a vibrant appearance that’s perfect for holiday celebrations. The sweet cherry and zesty lime combination is something I enjoy; it’s lively and makes for a joyful sip.
  • Mint Chocolate Martini: This combination includes the rich flavor of chocolate with a hint of mint, akin to a liquid dessert. The chocolate provides a creamy, indulgent base, while the mint adds a refreshing twist. The blend of mint and chocolate here is irresistible to me; it’s like savoring my favorite mint chocolate in a glass.
  • Grinch Martini: This playful mix features vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and mint, creating a sweet and creamy experience with a minty freshness. The white chocolate adds a luxurious richness, and the mint keeps it refreshing. I’m particularly drawn to the creamy, sweet nature of this mix; it’s like a delightful holiday dessert in a glass.

A Christmas Martini cocktail, shot from above, on a white table with a gin bottle, a triple sec bottle, a cranberry juice bottle and two oranges around.

History and Origin

While popular in many settings today, the Christmas Martini doesn’t have a singular, clear origin story like some other classic cocktails. Instead, its emergence owes much to the broader history of martinis and the human penchant for seasonal variations.

The traditional martini, a blend of gin and vermouth, has roots that go back to the late 19th century. Over time, as the martini gained popularity over time, especially in American bars and culture, bartenders and enthusiasts began experimenting with different ingredients and flavors. The desire to capture the essence of seasons, holidays, and special occasions in a glass led to many themed drinks.

As the holiday season is a time of festivity, warmth, and celebration, bartenders saw an opportunity to craft a drink that embodies the Christmas spirit. Thus, by infusing the martini with flavors commonly associated with the holidays, such as cranberry, the Christmas Martini found its place in the repertoire of many mixologists.

The name “Christmas Martini” comes from its festive appearance and flavor profile, resonating with the yuletide season. Over the years, as with many cocktails, variations began to emerge, leading to the diverse range of Christmas Martini recipes we have today.

 

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FAQ

How many calories does a typical Christmas Martini have?
A standard Christmas Martini contains approximately 180-220 calories, which can vary based on the specific ingredients and quantities.
How strong is a Christmas Martini?
The strength largely depends on the gin used, but it typically ranges from 25-30% ABV (50-60 proof).
What type of alcohol is primarily used in a Christmas Martini?
Gin serves as the primary alcoholic base.
In what kind of glass should a Christmas Martini be served?
It's best served in a chilled Martini glass.
What does a Christmas Martini taste like?
The drink offers a balance of juniper from the gin, tartness from cranberry juice, and a hint of citrus sweetness, making it both refreshing and festive.
What is the typical ratio of ingredients in a Christmas Martini?
The classic ratio is two parts gin, one part cranberry juice, and half part triple sec and lime juice. 
How is the Christmas Martini typically served in terms of ice?
It's usually shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker and then strained into a glass, serving it "up" without ice in the final presentation.

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