If there was only one cocktail perfect for the winter holidays, it'd be this Cranberry Orange Margarita. It's great for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and a delicious drink to make when you don't know what to do with leftover cranberry sauce.
A quick backstory:
Anyone who knows me knows how much I like a good margarita. Not the shortcut one with margarita mix, but the real deal. I never understood why restaurants use margarita mix, it's so easy to just put all the ingredients together. All you need is Silver Tequila, Cointreau or Triple Sec, lime juice, and a liquid sweetener. Margarita is always my go-to drink when I'm out with friends. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen as often now but the good news is this drink is really easy to make at home! Homemade margarita is fun to make and really easy. Plus, it's so much cheaper than the one you'd buy in a bar.
If you're in the mood for something other than tequila, check out this Spiced Rum Apple Cider Cocktail. My favorite apple cider cocktail!
What's in this Orange Cranberry Margarita?
It's super simple. This cocktail is made with 7 ingredients, a couple of which are optional. I use fresh juices here as they provide the best flavor. I usually buy bottled lime juice but it's never from a concentrate, just juiced limes. You can use store bought orange juice but try to avoid very processed ones, the cocktail just won't be the same.
You will need:
- Silver tequila
- Cointreau or Triple Sec (I like Cointreau)
- Orange juice (freshly squeezed)
- Lime juice (freshly squeezed)
- Cranberry Sauce (or cranberry juice)
- Maple syrup or another sweetener (optional, I usually just add a tiny bit because the orange juice is sweet enough)
- Orange bitters (optional but recommended)
- Ice for serving and for the cocktail shaker if you're using one
- Orange slices and cranberries (fresh or frozen) for garnish (optional)
I use a cocktail shaker for this cocktail because the recipe calls for cranberry sauce and I don't want the cranberries in the cocktail. You do have to swirl it all around a few times for all the liquid to come out if your cranberry sauce has chunks of cranberries.
If you don't have a cocktail shaker, use cranberry juice instead of sauce. It's easy to just mix everything but the ice right in the glass and then just add ice. You can use cranberry sauce too but you'll end up with cranberry pieces on the bottom of the glass.
What are bitters?
A great advantage of mixing your own cocktails at home is that you can get really creative with them! I love trying new combinations and flavors. I bought a couple of different bottles of bitters which are a great way to flavor your cocktails. Bitters are (usually) alcohol-based, aromatic infusions of botanicals like spices, herbs, dried flowers, and fruit peels. They're sold in small bottles as you're supposed to add only a few drops or dashes into your drinks. Bitters are used in cocktails similar way you'd use flavorings in cooking and baking. In this cocktail, I added orange bitters, my current favorite. Orange bitters go with so much and it's a flavor you can't really go wrong with.
Making the cocktail virgin:
Making this cocktail into a mocktail margarita is super easy! Just swap the tequila with water and add more orange juice instead of the Cointreau. I like to add an extra teaspoon of maple syrup to a mocktail to balance out the flavors better.
I can't wait for you to try this cocktail! Let me know what you think if you do! And as always, remember to drink responsibly. xoPrint
Delicious holiday cocktail, perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce.
- 1 ½ oz silver tequila
- ½ oz Cointreau
- 2 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
- ½ oz lime juice
- 1 tbsp cranberry sauce (or sub 1 oz cranberry juice)
- ½ oz maple syrup (optional)
- dash orange bitters
- Fresh or frozen cranberries
- An orange slice
- Into a cocktail shaker add the tequila, Cointreau, orange juice, lime juice, cranberry sauce, maple syrup, orange bitters, and a few ice cubes. Close and shake vigorously for a few seconds. Pour into a glass and add a couple of ice cubes, the cranberries, a slice of orange, and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy immediately.
If you don't have cranberry sauce, you can use 1 oz cranberry juice instead. If you don't have a cocktail shaker, use cranberry juice, not the sauce, and mix everything right in the glass.
Skip the tequila and Cointreau. Add 1 oz more orange juice, 1 oz water, and 1 extra tsp maple syrup.
Keywords: cranberries, orange, tequila, cocktail