How to Make Cranberry Margaritas for the Holidays

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When you crave the flavors of a margarita but it's snowing outside, whip up a cranberry margarita. It's everything you love about the classic cocktail with a wintry spin.

Bright, citrusy and tart, this cranberry margarita is a beautiful winter version of the classic margarita. Flavored with cranberry juice and rimmed with spiced sugar, this cocktail is perfect for the holidays.

How to Make Cranberry Margaritas

Before you gather what you need for this cranberry cocktail, check out our ultimate guide to margaritas. It covers everything from the history and ingredients to our favorite margarita mixes and more.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 ounces 100% cranberry juice or cranberry flavored blend of 100% juice
  • 2 ounces tequila reposado
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce orange liqueur such as Cointreau, optional
  • Sage for serving

Tools You’ll Need

  • Cocktail Shaker: I always prefer a Boston shaker or tin on tin. If you’re not sure what to buy or what you already have at your home bar, this list of best cocktail shakers might help.
  • Jigger or shot glass: I prefer to use a jigger because it allows you to be more accurate when measuring liquor and mixers.
  • Cocktail Strainer: It’s important to have a cocktail strainer for cocktails with pulp, herbs or anything muddled. You can also use a small fine mesh sieve.

If you love this cranberry option and you’re still looking for ways to make your margaritas fun, here’s a list of some of our best margarita recipes.

Directions

Step 1: Rim glasses with spiced sugar

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In a small shallow bowl, combine turbinado sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass and dip in spiced sugar.

Step 2: Combine cocktail ingredients

Cranberry Margarita For Web 2 Lauren Grant For Toh JveditLauren Grant for Taste of Home

Add cranberry juice, tequila, lime juice and orange liqueur, if using, to cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, secure lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled, about 20 seconds.

Step 3: Strain cocktail over ice

Cranberry Margarita For Web 6 Lauren Grant For Toh JveditLauren Grant for Taste of Home

Fill rocks glass with ice, then strain cranberry margarita over ice. Garnish with sage leaves and serve.

Tips for Making Cranberry Margaritas

  • Use frozen cranberries instead of fresh. For starters, you can find them year-round, and you don’t risk them going bad in the fridge. They also do double duty by acting as a garnish and keeping the drink chilled.
  • If you can find 100% cranberry juice and are willing to spend the money on it, use it! It’s incredibly tart and makes for the best cocktail. However, it can be somewhat hard to find and has a higher price tag than other juices. You can also use a cranberry-flavored juice, made from a blend of 100% juice. Aside from being more affordable, it will also be sweeter.
  • I found reposado tequila to be the best tequila for this cranberry margarita becuase it has hints of caramel—perfect for winter! I always go for Cazadores Reposado, but check out this list of the best tequila for margaritas for more ideas.
  • Do you have more questions about how to craft the perfect margarita? Get the inside scoop on how to make margaritas like professional bartenders.

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Lauren Grant
The veggie- and cheese-obsessed lady behind the food blog Zestful Kitchen, Lauren Grant is a trained Culinary Scientist and Journalist. She is a blogger, writer, recipe developer, and self-taught photographer.