This Cranberry Gin Cocktail is the perfect, refreshing way to ring in the holiday season. All you need is 4 easy ingredients, plus fresh cranberries and rosemary for garnish!
📋 About the Recipe
- Easy holiday gin and tonic - If you love gin and tonics, you’ll love this cute, holiday twist on the classic! Enjoy them on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything in between.
- Suitable for a crowd - In the recipe card, I’m showing you how to make 1 cocktail, but this recipe is easy to make multiple cocktails at once.
- Easy to make - Including festive garnishes, this cocktail can be ready in 10 minutes or less. For more festive cocktails and appetizers, try my Cranberry Brie Crostini and Christmas Moscow Mules. You also can't go wrong with my Holiday Rice Krispie Treats!
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Gin - Gin is a distilled alcohol made from juniper berries. I recommend using a dry gin with no additives or flavoring - any brand will do (I used Beefeater).
- Cranberry juice - For this Christmas cocktail, you’ll want to look for a cranberry juice that is pure, 100% cranberry juice with no added sweeteners. Most cranberry juices in stores are blended with other juices or made with added sugars to balance the tartness of the cranberry, but your local grocery store should have 1 or 2 pure cranberry juices to choose from. Or, at the very least, a lightly sweetened option.
- Orange juice - The perfect, natural sweetness to balance the tartness of the cranberry without being overly sweet. For the best flavor, I highly recommend freshly squeezed orange juice, but store-bought orange juice will work in a pinch.
- Tonic water - Any plain, carbonated tonic water will work well so use your favorite brand.
- Fresh cranberries - Optional, but make for a nice, festive garnish. If you can’t find fresh cranberries, frozen whole cranberries work well too. You can even garnish with sugared cranberries for a bit of added sweetness and a “frosty” look.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Make it sweeter: Classic gin and tonic cocktails are not sweet tasting, however if you prefer a sweeter cocktail, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of a liquid sweetener like homemade simple syrup, maple syrup, agave, or honey.
- Gin substitute: If you’ve just found you’re out of gin, try substituting vodka for a vodka cranberry-esque drink.
- Tonic water substitute: Make this gin cocktail a cranberry gin fizz and swap the tonic water for ginger ale.
- Make in a mason jar: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, add the cranberry gin cocktail ingredients to a mason jar, screw on the lid, then shake to combine. Strain over drinking glasses filled with ice as usual.
- Mix your cocktail. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add gin, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Shake thoroughly to combine.
- Pour over ice. In a glass filled with ice, pour the gin and cranberry mixture over top. Finish with a splash of tonic water.
- Garnish. Garnish your cranberry gin cocktail with fresh cranberries, an orange slice, and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
❄️ How to Store
To store: As with most cocktails, this cranberry gin cocktail is best enjoyed immediately once poured over ice. If you are planning to make these cranberry gin cocktails for a crowd and want to prep in advance, follow step 1, then pour into an airtight jar like a mason jar (no ice!). Store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, then pour over ice into drinking glasses, add tonic water, and garnish!
To freeze: I wouldn’t recommend freezing this cocktail simply because it’s easy enough to make fresh in just a few minutes. However, storing your gin in the freezer is a great way to preserve its quality. Like most alcohols, gin does not freeze solid and instead will stay chilled - perfect for gin cocktails.
Despite its name, cranberry cocktail does not contain alcohol. Cranberry juice cocktail is simply a juice that is popular for making mixed drinks that contain alcohol.
Cranberry cocktail and cranberry juice are similar, but not the same. The big difference being cranberry juice cocktail contains added sugar and pure cranberry juice is unsweetened. For this Christmas cocktail, I’d recommend unsweetened pure cranberry juice.
Unopened cranberry juice has a long shelf life, but once opened, cranberry juice should be consumed within 2 to 3 weeks. It should also be stored in the refrigerator once opened.
💭 A Couple More Tips
- Wash the rosemary before garnishing. Packaged sprigs of rosemary can contain dirt, debris, and pesticides. Before garnishing, rinse the rosemary thoroughly under cold water in a fine mesh sieve. Then pat dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel before adding to your cocktails.
- Invest in some cocktail picks. If you love hosting friends and family, investing in a set of cocktail picks is an easy way to impress and finish with the final, memorable touch!
🍴 Related Recipes
Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I'd love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!
Cranberry Gin Cocktail (Cranberry Gin and Tonic)
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cranberry juice
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh squeezed orange juice
- tonic water
- fresh cranberries for garnish
- orange slices for garnish
- fresh rosemary for garnish
- Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Pour in gin, cranberry juice, and orange juice. Shake thoroughly to mix together.
- Add ice to a glass. Pour gin and cranberry mixture over ice. Top with a splash of tonic water.
- Garnish with cranberries, an orange slice, and rosemary.
- Like a traditional gin and tonic, this drink isn't very sweet. Because it also includes cranberry juice, it ends up being semi-tart. If you like a sweeter drink, add ¼ to ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup, agave, or simple syrup to the cocktail shaker before shaking.
- Make sure to use fresh orange juice for the best flavor.
- Buy a good quality cranberry juice with as little preservatives and added sugar as possible.
Want more recipes like this delivered right to your inbox? Be sure to subscribe above and never miss a thing!