Cranberry Margarita Cocktail Drink

Cranberry Margarita

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

Try this Cranberry Margarita recipe! It’s a flavorful drink, and the ingredients are simple to gather, so you can make it without any hassle.

Cranberry Margarita Recipe

Savor the vibrant flavors of our simple Cranberry Margarita recipe. Tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec combine to create this pure delight.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

165 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Tequila
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • oz cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel and fresh cranberries, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Margarita Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill your margarita glass.
  • Pour ½ oz lime juice in the shaker.
  • Add 1½ oz cranberry juice.
  • Follow with ½ oz Triple Sec.
  • Finish with 1½ oz Tequila.
  • Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake it all together vigorously.
  • Strain the mixture into your margarita glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh cranberries.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Tequila: If you're out of Tequila, use vodka as a substitute. It won't have the same flavor profile but will still make a tasty drink.
  • Triple sec: use Cointreau or Grand Marnier as substitutes, but keep in mind that they may have a slight variation in taste compared to Triple Sec.
  • Lime Juice: In a pinch, lemon juice can be used instead of lime juice. It will give the drink a different twist but still provide that necessary citrus kick.
  • Cranberry Juice: Pomegranate juice could be used as an alternative to cranberry juice. It has a similar tartness and color.

Making a Pitcher of Cranberry Margarita:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of Tequila, 4 oz of Triple Sec, 4 oz of lime juice, and 12 oz of cranberry juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and cranberry juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled margarita glasses, garnish with a lime wheel and fresh cranberries, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Tequila Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic tequila substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic Tequila's flavor.
  • Cointreau Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic orange liqueur or a simple syrup infused with orange peel.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This Cranberry Margarita recipe is vegan-friendly as it contains no animal products. Just ensure that the specific brands of alcohol you're using are vegan, as some brands may use animal products in their processing methods.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
165
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.02
g
0
%
Sodium
 
3
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
54
mg
2
%
Protein
 
0.2
g
0
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.04
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.01
g
Vitamin A
 
26
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
6
mg
1
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

Cranberry Margarita Cocktail Drink

Cranberry Margarita Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Savor the vibrant flavors of our simple Cranberry Margarita recipe. Tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec combine to create this pure delight.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 165

Ingredients
 

  • oz Tequila
  • ½ oz Triple Sec
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • oz cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wheel and fresh cranberries - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Margarita Glass
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer

Instructions

  • Chill your margarita glass.
  • Pour ½ oz lime juice in the shaker.
  • Add 1½ oz cranberry juice.
  • Follow with ½ oz Triple Sec.
  • Finish with 1½ oz Tequila.
  • Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake it all together vigorously.
  • Strain the mixture into your margarita glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel and fresh cranberries.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Tequila: If you're out of Tequila, use vodka as a substitute. It won't have the same flavor profile but will still make a tasty drink.
  • Triple sec: use Cointreau or Grand Marnier as substitutes, but keep in mind that they may have a slight variation in taste compared to Triple Sec.
  • Lime Juice: In a pinch, lemon juice can be used instead of lime juice. It will give the drink a different twist but still provide that necessary citrus kick.
  • Cranberry Juice: Pomegranate juice could be used as an alternative to cranberry juice. It has a similar tartness and color.

Making a Pitcher of Cranberry Margarita:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8. That would be 12 oz of Tequila, 4 oz of Triple Sec, 4 oz of lime juice, and 12 oz of cranberry juice.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, and cranberry juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into ice-filled margarita glasses, garnish with a lime wheel and fresh cranberries, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Tequila Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic tequila substitute; these are available and reasonably mimic Tequila's flavor.
  • Cointreau Substitute: Opt for a non-alcoholic orange liqueur or a simple syrup infused with orange peel.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version.

Making it Vegan:

This Cranberry Margarita recipe is vegan-friendly as it contains no animal products. Just ensure that the specific brands of alcohol you're using are vegan, as some brands may use animal products in their processing methods.

What is a Cranberry Margarita?

A Cranberry Margarita is a tequila-based cocktail made of cranberry juice, lime juice, orange liqueur, and Tequila. It’s not difficult to make as it only requires the simple process of mixing the ingredients in a shaker with ice and then straining it into a glass. This drink is a variant of the classic margarita; its unique twist comes from substituting part of the traditional lime juice for tart cranberry juice, giving this version its distinctive flavor profile and festive coloration.

A side shot of a Cranberry Margarita cocktail in a margarita glass on a black stone coaster placed on a table surrounded by a salmon cloth and a lime.

What is a Cranberry Margarita made of – The ingredients

To begin your Cranberry Margarita, have these ingredients ready:

  • Cranberry juice: Add a tart, fruity flavor to the margarita. It also gives the drink its distinctive pink color.
  • Lime juice: This is essential for any margarita. It adds a tangy citrus note that balances out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
  • Tequila: The base spirit of the drink. It provides a strong, robust flavor that matches the other ingredients.
  • Triple sec: This orange-flavored liqueur adds a sweet, citrusy note to the drink. It also helps to balance out the tartness of the cranberries and lime juice.
  • Ice cubes: These are used to chill the drink and dilute it slightly, making it more refreshing.
  • Fresh cranberries and lime slices (for garnish) decorate the glass and make the drink look more appealing. They also hint at the flavors contained within.

Tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, and cranberry juice laid out on a white bar table

How do you make a Cranberry Margarita?

Our guide provides clear steps to help you make a Cranberry Margarita:

1
<p>Start by chilling your glass before serving the Cranberry Margarita. This will help keep the drink cold for longer periods, preserving its refreshing qualities and enhancing the overall drinking experience.</p>

Start by chilling your glass before serving the Cranberry Margarita. This will help keep the drink cold for longer periods, preserving its refreshing qualities and enhancing the overall drinking experience.

2
<p>Pour 0.5 ounces of lime juice into the shaker.</p>

Pour 0.5 ounces of lime juice into the shaker.

3
<p>Pour 1.5 ounces of cranberry juice into the shaker. These juices will enhance the overall freshness of the drink.</p>

Pour 1.5 ounces of cranberry juice into the shaker. These juices will enhance the overall freshness of the drink.

4
<p>Measure and pour 0.5 ounces of triple sec. Including triple sec wil add sweetness and citrus notes to the cocktail.</p>

Measure and pour 0.5 ounces of triple sec. Including triple sec wil add sweetness and citrus notes to the cocktail.

5
<p>Finally add 1.5 ounces of tequila, providing the main alcohol component and lending its unique flavor to the drink.</p>

Finally add 1.5 ounces of tequila, providing the main alcohol component and lending its unique flavor to the drink.

6
<p>Fill your shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill your shaker with ice cubes.

7
<p>Secure the lid on it and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well-mixed and chilled.</p>

Secure the lid on it and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. This will ensure that all the ingredients are well-mixed and chilled.

8
<p>Once your drink is thoroughly mixed, strain it into your prepared glass. Depending on your preference, You can strain it over fresh ice or serve it "up" without ice.</p>

Once your drink is thoroughly mixed, strain it into your prepared glass. Depending on your preference, You can strain it over fresh ice or serve it "up" without ice.

9
<p>Garnish the drink with fresh cranberries and a lime wheel for a festive touch.</p>

Garnish the drink with fresh cranberries and a lime wheel for a festive touch.

History and Origin of the Cranberry Margarita

The Cranberry Margarita cocktail is a fun spin on the classic margarita. This bright drink mixes cranberries’ sour taste with Tequila’s fresh kick. It’s a big hit at holiday parties.

The story of the Cranberry Margarita starts with its older cousin, the original margarita. The invention of the original Margarita cocktail is often credited to a few different stories and individuals, making it somewhat of a disputed history. One of the popular claims is that the Margarita was created by a socialite named Margarita Sames in the 1940s. Another story attributes its creation to Carlos “Danny” Herrera, a bartender in Tijuana, Mexico in the late 1930s. The exact origin may be unclear, but the Margarita has definitely become a classic cocktail enjoyed worldwide.

Jump to the late 20th century when bartenders started playing with different flavors to spice up the classic margarita. That’s probably when someone first made the Cranberry Margarita. We are still determining exactly when or where it happened, but it was likely in the 1990s when flavored margaritas became trendy in American bars.

Cranberries were an easy choice for a new margarita flavor because their sour taste goes well with the strong flavor of Tequila. Plus, people often eat cranberries during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas in North America. So, the Cranberry Margarita quickly became popular for holiday get-togethers.

A Cranberry Margarita cocktail in a margarita glass on a beige surface surrounded by Tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, and cranberry juice

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FAQ

How many calories does a Cranberry Margarita contain?
A standard serving of Cranberry Margarita typically contains around 200 calories. However, this can vary depending on the specific ingredients and their quantities in the preparation.
How strong is a Cranberry Margarita?
The strength of a Cranberry Margarita can vary based on the amount of alcohol used. Generally, it has an Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of about 20%, translating to 40 proof.
What type of alcohol is used in a Cranberry Margarita?
Cranberry Margaritas primarily use Tequila as the base spirit and an orange liqueur such as Triple Sec or Cointreau for added flavor and complexity.
In what kind of glass is a Cranberry Margarita served?
Traditionally, a Cranberry Margarita is served in a margarita glass.
What does a Cranberry Margarita taste like?
A Cranberry Margarita offers a delightful balance of sweet and tart flavors. The cranberry juice provides a tangy freshness, while the Tequila brings warmth and depth. Adding lime juice and orange liqueur increases the flavor profile with citrusy and sweet notes.
6. What is the ratio of ingredients in a Cranberry Margarita?
The typical ratio for a Cranberry Margarita is 1 1/2 oz of Tequila, 1/2 oz of Triple sec, 1/2 oz of Lime Juice, and1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice. However, this can be adjusted according to personal preference.
7. How is a Cranberry Margarita served with ice?
A Cranberry Margarita is usually shaken and served over ice or "on the rocks." This means that the cocktail is shaken with ice before being strained into a glass filled with fresh ice.
8. Can I make a non-alcoholic version of a Cranberry Margarita?
You can make a non-alcoholic version of a Cranberry Margarita by simply omitting the Tequila and by using an orange flavored syrup instead of orange liqueur.
9. Is it challenging to make a Cranberry Margarita at home?
Not at all! Making a Cranberry Margarita at home is relatively straightforward. All you need are the ingredients and essential cocktail-making tools like a shaker and strainer.
10. Can I use frozen cranberries instead of cranberry juice in my Cranberry Margarita?
While cranberry juice is the traditional choice, you can use frozen cranberries. Muddle them in the bottom of your shaker before adding the other ingredients.

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