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Let's all make a toast to this cranberry margarita. It's the most delicious, sweet, tart, festive drink you could possibly ask for. And, it's very easy to make - for one person or for a crowd.
Cranberry margaritas are everything a good margarita should be - just with a cranberry twist. And, when you think about it, the orange liqueur in a margarita already lends itself super well to both a) cranberry flavor and b) a Christmas flavor profile. It's a match made in heaven, really.
The cranberry margarita is the perfect holiday cocktail, especially if you've got tequila lovers in the house. It's sweet, tart, salty and bursting with cranberry and orange flavor.
In fact, it's so perfect for December that it's also known as the Christmas margarita. And who could possibly turn that down?
Check out the cranberry margarita web story.
Why You're going to Love this Recipe
- It's super easy. Like literally five minutes and you're good to go.
- The ingredients are simple. You can add homemade cranberry simple syrup if you want, but it's not necessary. Cranberry juice will do just fine.
- You can make it for a crowd by batching it and making it ahead of time (see below).
- The flavors are really nicely balanced - bittersweet from the cranberry, fresh and tart from the lime and citrus, salty from the rim. SO GOOD.
Like I mentioned - the ingredient list is very simple. Not included in this photo are the ingredients for the salt rim.
- Orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Triple Secc)
- Cranberry juice (you can use the juice, or the 100% natural cranberry. The juice will be sweeter).
- Lime juice (freshly squeezed
The rim is optional, but super delicious and definitely in keeping with a traditional margarita. For the that you'll need:
- kosher salt
- orange zest
And that's it!
How to Make a Christmas Margarita
There's a couple of ways you can go about this. Traditionally, a margarita is made in a Boston shaker over ice. Simple add all the ingredients, pour, and go. However, if you're not feeling it, you can totally just mix all the ingredients in the glass your serving it in over ice (this is how I did it in the video).
Step 1: Make the Rim
Add the salt, sugar, and orange zest in a bowl wide enough to fit your serving glass (I usually use rocks glasses).
Using a slice of lime (or dip in simple syrup if you prefer), run it around the edge of the glass.
Dip the glass in the salt/sugar/orange mixture.
Add your ice to the glass while you make the drink.
Step 2: Add the Ingredients
Add the cranberry juice, tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur. Gently stir to mix the ingredients well.
Step 3: Garnish
You can garnish this with lots of different things: fresh lime, dehydrated orange, fresh cranberry, sugared cranberries, rosemary, etc. etc.
Tips & Tricks
- Make this for a crowd ahead of time (see below).
- I find that dipping the rim of my glass in simple syrup (rather than lime juice) helps the rim stick better to the glass.
- You don't have to rim this cocktail at all, but it adds a lot of flavor.
- You can add cranberry simple syrup to make this more sweet and intensify the cranberry flavor.
- This recipe also works great with rum if you're not feeling tequila!
- Use mezcal for a smoky version of this (my fav).
Batching & Making Ahead
To make this for a crowd (and ahead of time) simply follow these instructions:
- 1 ½ cups tequila
- 1 ½ cups cranberry juice
- ½ cup orange liqueur
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ½ cup cranberry simple syrup (optional)
Gently stir the ingredients in a large pitcher. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. When ready, pour over ice in rocks glasses.
Other Awesome Holiday Recipes
For the Margarita
- 1½ oz tequila
- 1½ oz cranberry juice
- ½ oz orange liqueur such as Triple Secc
- ½ oz cranberry simple syrup optional
- ¼ oz lime juice
- fresh cranberries for garnish
For the Rim
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon orange zest
Make the Rim
- In a bowl, combine salt, sugar, and orange zest. Mix to combine.
Make the Cocktail
- Rub a slice of lime around the outside rim of a rocks glass. Dip the edge of the glass in your rim. Add ice to the glass.
- You can either make the margarita in a cocktail shaker, and shake until cold, or simple mix the ingredients in your prepared rocks glass. Either way, add the tequila, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, simple syrup (if using), and lime juice. Shake or gently stir in the glass.
- Garnish with fresh cranberries.
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