Festive and pretty, you’ll want to serve a cranberry margarita all throughout the holiday season! Easily dress it up or down – add sugared cranberries for a gorgeous garnish – or make it into a holiday mocktail.
Why You’ll Love This Christmas Cranberry Margarita
What’s not to love about a deeply-hued, ice-cold cocktail that’s just right for any festive occasion? If you love cranberry juice, you’re sure to love this cranberry margarita. Here’s why I make it again and again:
- So simple. This is one of those drinks that needs just a few ingredients to literally shake together. You won’t need simple syrup or any complicated ingredients. Just shake or stir your way to Christmas cranberry margarita perfection.
- Adaptable. Make this recipe as written or see my variation suggestions below.
- Perfect in all weather. In California, we sometimes have a warm Christmas – a nice, cold cranberry margarita is certainly very welcome on a sunny holiday! But it’s equally delightful enjoyed on a snowy eve in front of a roaring fire.
What You Need to Make a Cranberry Margarita
Here’s an overview of the ingredients needed to make this recipe. The full ingredient amounts and instructions are in the recipe card lower down.
- Tequila – You can use your favorite brand of tequila in this recipe.
- Lime juice – Freshly squeezed lime juice is best!
- Cranberry juice – Try to get pure cranberry juice if possible so you can really taste the cranberry flavor
- Garnish – Orange and lemon slices, fresh rosemary
How to Make This Cranberry Margarita Recipe:
- Shake: Place the tequila, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker with 1 cup of ice and shake vigorously until combined.
- Serve: Divide the drink into two ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lemon and orange slices and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
A Little Tip
You can make this delightful margarita into a festive mocktail! Simply swap the tequila for sparkling water or a bubbly orange or tangerine juice.
Serve cranberry margaritas with homemade guacamole and chips, a cheese plate, or fresh bread and hummus. I like to serve this festive Christmas cranberry margarita before Thanksgiving dinner or before we sit down to Christmas lunch. But, you can definitely serve it just one its own during cocktail hour!
Tips & Substitutions
I really love to make this recipe as written! But it’s also fun to go off script. Here are a few tips and substitution options to get you started:
- Change the garnish – You can play around with garnishes for this beautiful drink. Try frozen cranberries, sugared cranberries, basil leaves, or slices of lime.
- Make it a mocktail – I don’t drink spirits, and though I happily make cocktails for others, I prefer to go alcohol-free. You can easily make a mocktail version of a cranberry margarita by skipping the tequila and adding bubbly water. I also love to add sparkling cider, tangerine, or cranberry juice in place of the tequila for a bit of effervescence.
- Swap lime juice for orange juice. Cranberry and orange is a classic winter flavor combo. You can recreate it in this margarita by substituting the lime juice for freshly-squeezed orange juice.
- Try different alcohol. You can make this into a bourbon-cranberry cocktail by switching the tequila for bourbon. Technically it won’t be a margarita – more of a rickey – but it will still be delicious.
More Holiday Recipes
- Gluten-Free Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Gluten-Free Cranberry Cake
- Gluten-Free Gingerbread
- Oat Flour Sugar Cookies
- 4 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 8 ounces cranberry juice
- Orange and lemon slices , for garnish
- Fresh rosemary , for garnish
- Place the tequila, lime juice, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker with 1 cup of ice. Shake vigorously until combined and chilled. You can also make these drinks straight in the glass: divide the ingredients in half between to glasses, stir well to combine, then add ice.
- Divide the drink into two, ice-filled glasses. Garnish with lemon and orange slices and a sprig of fresh rosemary.