Hello NellieBellie readers! Chef Maggie here from Alternative Dish. Today I am excited to be taking over Nellie Bellie and presenting you with a delicious Cranberry Margarita cocktail recipe (with a mocktail option!).
I know you’re wondering who I am, and how I can take over your favorite website for the day. Here’s the deal, I am no Janel, but I am someone who adores good food, and I also happen to be a former chef. After chef life became difficult with little kids I became an online cooking instructor and blogger. My focus is on easy and approachable gluten and dairy free recipes that everyone can enjoy. Some of my reader’s favorite recipes include: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, 20-minute Thai Coconut Soup, and Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas.
Today I am presenting you with a decadent and delicious cocktail, just in time for cranberry season and the holidays! This cranberry margarita is a colorful and festive drink that is sure to brighten your holiday parties. And yes, there’s also an option to make this a mocktail, so everyone can partake. Ready to get started?
INGREDIENTS IN CRANBERRY MARGARITAS
This cranberry margarita recipe has many of the flavors you expect from a margarita, plus some that you don’t.
- Lime juice – Use fresh squeezed lime juice for the best flavor.
- Tequila – I prefer blanco (also called silver or white) for its herbal and citrus notes and the natural sweetness provided from the agave itself. But, if you prefer an aged tequila like a reposado, I promise it won’t be bad!
- Orange liqueur – Any brand of triple sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier will all work well in this recipe.
- Cranberry juice – I prefer to seek out a brand that is 100% juice and doesn’t contain sugar as an ingredient. Cranberry juice on its own is extremely tart, so the 100% juice option will likely have other fruit juices in their ingredients to sweeten it up.
- Frozen cranberries – When cranberry season rolls around I like to grab extra bags and throw them in my freezer for future use. In this recipe we use frozen cranberries to keep the drink cold without adding ice, which will dilute the flavor.
- Sugar – For rimming the glasses. Traditional margaritas use salt, but the tartness of the cranberries calls for a little sweetness. I’ve also tried these with salt, and if you’re a die hard salted margarita fan then making these with salt will not disappoint.
- Lime wedges and rosemary – Optional for garnish. I like to say that we eat (and drink!) with our eyes first. Adding these garnishes adds a decorative touch and makes them more appealing to the eye, creating a cocktail that is sure to impress!
HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY MARGARITAS
Craving a margarita, like, now?! You’re in luck! These cranberry margaritas come together in a snap! Start by pouring sugar onto a small plate or bowl that will fit your glass. Swipe a lime wedge all the way around the rim of the glass. Put the glass, rim down, in the sugar and twist slightly to make sure that the whole rim is coated in sugar.
Next, add the lime juice, tequila, orange liquer and cranberry juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker to the top with ice and put the lid on the shaker. Shake vigorously for a couple minutes. Pro tip: Wrap a towel around the shaker so your hand doesn’t freeze!
Once the margarita mixture is nice and cold, pour it into the prepared margarita glass. Add a handful of frozen cranberries to the drink and garnish with rosemary and a lime wedge. Enjoy!
CAN I MAKE A PITCHER OF CRANBERRY MARGARITAS?
This recipe doubles, quadrulples (octuples?!) easily. If you want to make a pitcher of margaritas, add the liquid ingredients to a pitcher and stir well to combine. Put the margarita mixture in the fridge to chill. When ready to serve, add frozen cranberries to the pitcher, or individual glasses, and serve away! Garnish individual glasses with rosemary sprigs and a lime wedge.
CAN I MAKE A CRANBERRY MARGARITA MOCKTAIL?
Absolutely! To make this drink non-alcoholic, omit the tequila and orange liqueur and add ⅓ cup orange juice. Fresh squeezed orange juice is best, but if you have other orange juice on hand, use it up! My daughters both loved this virgin cocktail, especially the sugary rim!
Cranberry Margaritas Recipe
- Sugar for rim of glass
- Lime wedge plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons lime juice fresh squeezed
- ¼ cup 2 ounces tequila blanco
- 2 tablespoon 1 ounce orange liqueur such as triple sec or Cointreau
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ¼ cup frozen cranberries
- Rosemary for garnish
- Start by pouring sugar onto a small plate or bowl that will fit your glass. Swipe a lime wedge all the way around the rim of the glass. Put the glass, rim down, in the sugar and twist gently to make sure that the whole rim is coated in sugar. Turn upright and set aside.
- Add the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur and cranberry juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker to the top with ice and put the lid on the shaker. Shake vigorously for a couple minutes. Pro tip: Wrap a towel around the shaker so your hand doesn’t freeze!
- Once the margarita mixture is nice and cold, pour it into the prepared margarita glass. Add a handful of frozen cranberries to the drink and garnish with rosemary and a lime wedge. Enjoy!