Festive, fun, and full of flavor! Cranberry Margaritas are a delicious cocktail that’s beautiful enough to serve for the holidays!
What is it about cranberry juice that makes it the ultimate cocktail mixer?! From vodka cranberry cocktails, to these delicious Cranberry Margaritas, cranberry juice is a real champion.Mixing cranberry juice into my favorite cocktail (margaritas of course) was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I love the contrast of sweetness and tartness (and of course the extra special kick from tequila) in this delicious cocktail. It works as the perfect holiday drink or as a year-round cocktail favorite. That’s why its the BEST margarita recipe ever!
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Margaritas have always been my cocktail of choice. Maybe it’s because they pair SO well with my favorite snack food – chips and guacamole. Or maybe it’s because you can make them so many different ways (on the rocks, frozen, flavored, spicy, the possibilities are endless)!
It could be because you can do fun twists on them like salting the rim of your glass or putting fancy rim sugars on. It’s probably just because no matter how you shake them up, margaritas taste amazing.
When you think of margaritas though, I’m sure you picture yourself sitting poolside sipping on one. Or maybe you think of celebrating Cinco de Mayo with some friends. You probably don’t think of sipping on a margarita around the holidays, right?
WRONG! I’m here to change your mind on that one. Cranberry margaritas are the perfect holiday cocktail.
This margarita recipe is festive, fruity, and flavorful. I promise you’ll be making SO many of these cranberry margaritas this holiday season!
What’s in a Margarita?
Any margarita has two essential components (what you choose to put in extra is what makes each margarita unique!):
Tequila – the backbone of a good margarita is tequila. I suggest using a mid-price range tequila. I save the expensive stuff for when I’m trying to highlight the tequila taste, but in this recipe, the cranberry is the star. One thing I don’t suggest doing is using a super cheap tequila though… that stuff does NOT leave you feeling good the next day!
Sweetener – whether you’re mixing up a quick drink or making a more specialty style cocktail, any margarita will have some form of sweetener in it. Many recipes use a pre-made margarita mix as the sweetener. Some more homemade-style recipes use lime juice and simple syrup or agave syrup.
What goes in a Cranberry Margarita?
So we already know that a basic margarita recipe uses tequila and some kind of sweetener base, but what makes a Cranberry Margarita unique (and the perfect holiday drink)? Here are the special ingredients you’ll need to mix up this yummy cocktail:
Grand Marnier – you’ll want some Grand Marnier for this margarita recipe. Many other margarita recipes call for triple sec, but I love the sweet orange and vanilla flavor of Grand Marnier. It mixes perfectly with the cranberry juice!
Juice & Agave – so many margarita recipes call for super heavy, overly sweet margarita mix. Instead, for this cranberry margarita, you’ll be sweetening with cranberry juice and agave syrup. These two add the perfect amount of sweet and tart to make it the best margarita recipe ever!
How to Make a Cranberry Margarita
Margaritas are super simple to make, but if you’re new to homemade margaritas, check out this post on How to Make a Margarita. Once you’ve got the basic premise down on how to make a basic margarita, this recipe becimes SUPER easy… just pour, shake, and serve!
- Start by measuring out your alcohols and pouring them into a cocktail shaker. If you’re making a big batch for a party (or you and your spouse are feeling like you’ll want a few cranberry margaritas tonight…), go ahead and measure the alcohol directly into a large pitcher.
- Next, pour in the agave syrup and cranberry juice. Add ice to your shaker and shake, shake, shake! (Or stir, stir, stir!) If you’re making a big batch, don’t add ice to the pitcher.
- Now that your cranberry margarita is all mixed up, it’s time to make it fancy! To make a salt rim on your glasses, run a lime wedge around the rim of the glass and then dip the rim into a plateful of margarita salt or kosher salt. Carefully fill each glass with ice. (You don’t want to knowck the salt off.)
- Last, pour your cranberry margaritas over ice into your prepared glasses. Plop some fresh cranberries in there to delicately float on top and then place a fresh lime slice in! You’ve got yourself a beautiful, festive, and delicious cocktail to ring in the holiday season!
Looking for some more holiday-worthy cocktail recipes?
- Crock Pot Cranberry Apple Cider (alcoholic OR non-alcoholic!)
- Apple Whiskey Sour
- Plum & Peach Margaritas
- Mulled Wine
- Cherry Beer Margarita
- more DRINKS recipes…
Tools used to make this Cranberry Margarita recipe
Cocktail Shaker: you don’t have to be a fancy mixologist to love having a cocktail shaker!
Pitcher: we use this pitcher for lemonade in the summer and this margarita recipe in the winter.
Rocks Glasses: how cute are these? I’ll be serving all of my holiday cranberry margaritas from these adorable glasses!
- Dip the rim of a rock glass into lime juice and then into margarita salt. Fill with ice, being careful not to knock off the salt. Set aside.
- Add cranberry juice, tequila, Grand Marnier, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Add agave syrup as needed and shake again until desired sweetness is reached. Pour into prepared glass.
- Garnish with a lime slice and fresh cranberries, if desired. Serve immediately.