Smooth, tart and a bit of sweet, this cranberry juice cocktail is muddled with fresh cranberries for the brightest flavors. A hint of rosemary gives Cranberry-Orange Gin Smash just a bit of intrigue.
In season fruity cocktails are always a favorite. Natural colors make the most beautiful sips with the addition of jewel-like garnishes. The holidays are a perfect time to get fancy anyway! But as fancy as this cranberry juice cocktail may seem, it’s really quite a simple sipper to pull together.
I’ve included a single and batch recipe below for your planning needs.
PRO TIP: check your local thrift store for fancy cocktail glasses. I got the glasses in this post for $0.25 each! Aren’t they fun?
How to Make Cranberry-Orange Gin Smash
Make ahead ready for Thanksgiving, New Years eve and all the holiday festivities in between, these cranberry orange cocktails are easy to pull together. In summary, here’s how to make em’ (see recipe card for details):
- First, make the sugared cranberries and include a spring of rosemary and a bit of orange peel in the sauce pot. Reserve the syrup from the sugared cranberries for the cocktail (double duty). Allow to cool.
- Next, muddle the cranberries, and orange peel in a bit of the simple syrup. Add ice, orange juice, orange liqueur, gin and cranberry juice.
- Third, shake shake shake or stir!
- Last, double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish.
Can I Make This Cranberry Orange Cocktail Ahead?
Yes! Make the recipe as directed and store in a lidded jar. Because of the fresh ingredients, I would make it just one day ahead of when needed. The sugared cranberries (includes the simple syrup) can be made a few days ahead as well.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Sugared cranberries can be made up to a day in advance. They take a little over an hour to make because they have to dry before rolling in sugar. If you’re short on time, skip them all- together. When making the simple syrup, instead, just add the rosemary and orange.
- The rosemary adds just a hint of intrigue. It’s not overwhelming.
- Muddling the cranberries with rosemary releases their oils and makes this cocktail extra special. Don’t skip it.
- Some brands of cranberry juice have added sweeteners, so adjust the simple accordingly when making this cocktail. I use unsweeted, pure cranberry juice because it’s organic and SO tart – in a good way. It’s a little pricy, but it lasts a long time in the fridge, and you only need an ounce per cocktail in this recipe.
- I’ve included a single and X4 recipe below. Make up to one day ahead if batch making, and store in a lidded jar in the refrigerator.
More Cranberry Juice Cocktails to Love!
- The Big Sister
- Cranberry and Mint Rum Punch – from Foolproof Living
- Sparkling Christmas Tree Cocktail from Floating Kitchen
- Cranberry Sage Cocktail – from Salted Plains
- Cranberry Champagne Sparkler – from Ciao Chow Bambina
Cranberry-Orange Gin Smash
For One Cocktail:
- 5 Whole Fresh Cranberries
- 1/4-1/2 oz (7-14g) Simple Syrup* adjust to taste - see note
- 4-6 Fresh Rosemary Leaves
- 1 oz (28g) Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
- 1/2 oz (14g) Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1/2 oz (14g) Grand Marnier
- 1 1/2 oz (42g) Gin I like The Botanist
- Sugared Cranberries for garnish
For Four Cocktails:
- 1/3 C (50g) Whole Fresh Cranberries
- 1-2 oz (28-56g) Simple Syrup* adjust to taste - see note
- Fresh Rosemary Leaves
- 1/2 C (112g) Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
- 1/4 C (56g) Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice I like cara cara, clementines or mandarins
- 1/4 C (56g) Grand Marnier
- 3/4 C (168g) Gin I like The Botanist
- Sugared Cranberries for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, cocktail mixing glass or large canning jar (for batch mixing) add the cranberries, simple syrup and rosemary leaves. Muddle until the cranberries pop. Add a handful of ice, cranberry juice, orange juice, Grand Marnier, and gin. Shake or stir. Taste for simple adjustment. Double strain into cocktail glasses and garnish with sugared cranberries and, if desired, a rosemary sprig.
- Cocktails can be made up to one day ahead and stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator.
Wow Traci, this cranberry-orange gin smash sounds and looks so good! Gonna have to make this one for sure :)
Thank you so much for your note and kind words, Quin! I hope you enjoy it!
AMAZING. Rave reviews at Christmas dinner party. Love the sugared cranberries. A++
Thank you so much for coming back and leaving a note, Pat! Hooray! And cheers to a tasty cocktail! :D
Laura | Tutti Dolci
Gorgeous, Traci! Hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season!
Thank you so much Laura! xo
This pretty little number should definitely put a little jingle in everyone’s step. Enjoy all the festivities of the season, Traci. Thanks for all your delicious inspirirations from this past year!
You bet, Jean! Thank you for your kind words and sweet support. It means so much :D
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
What a fun, festive drink, Traci! Looking forward to sharing this with family over the holidays! Just love that color – and the glasses are a steal! Hope you and Rob have a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year! Looking forward to seeing what you cook up next year!
Aren’t the glasses fun? And the color… too! Cranberries are so festive in taste and beauty! Happy New Year G! xo
Well this sounds delicious and with the power out (estimate for restoring is Mon 6pm!) still out on parts of Whidbey Island a drink looks like a solution to some woes. When you have no power, water or internet life as you knew it goes out the window. And it’s only community that brings smiles and warmth back into our hearts. Whidbey has great community and I love it here! Wishing everone a bright safe healthy New Year!
Oh my Heide! I hope you made it through okay…. Our power was out for about 12 hours… not too bad (it’s been worse). It forced be to take a work break and have some quiet time wrapped up in blankets! Happy New Year Heide! We have a lot to be grateful for!
These gorgeous festive drinks have me all heart eyes Traci. The muddled cranberry makes for the most beautiful colour – and I think this drink would work well as a mocktail too! (rosemary is one of our fave aromatics, perfect here). Wishing you a peaceful (and delicious ;) holiday season my friend, x.
You and me both, Kelly! I’d love to share one with you :D ! I love the color of cranberries too. Indeed a mocktail would be delicious with the combination of fruits! Just add a bit of club or tonic water and you’ve got quite a nice bubbly! Happy New Year to you too Kelly! xo
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Just what my Holiday needs! My Mom would love this. I’ll definitely be making one for her on Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful Holiday, Traci. Cheers!
Thank you Liz! I hope y’all enjoyed the cocktail. So happy to hear your holiday was restorative. xo
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
You know my love for gin Traci, so this cocktail will need to get on our cocktail menu ASAP! I absolutely love those sugared cranberries too. They make the perfect holiday garnish! Loving the hint of rosemary! Hope you and Rob have a wonderful Christmas together!
Oh yes ma’am, I do! I’d love to share one with you too! xo