These vibrant Cranberry Margaritas are the perfect marriage of tart and sweet. They’re a fun and festive cocktail option to serve during the holidays or enjoy any time of the year!
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Cheers to Cranberry Margaritas!
I absolutely love margaritas! My Mom and I have been on a margarita kick for the past year now, and we both just can’t get enough of them. I love adding fruit to a margarita to combat some of the tartness with natural sweetness. That’s why this margarita is a winner in my book. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart.
You can make these margaritas with store-bought cranberry juice OR get fancy and make your homemade cranberry juice! Once I started making my own cranberry juice with fresh cranberries I haven’t gone back to store bought. It’s so much better and only has three simple ingredients (including water).
To make these cranberry margaritas simply add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and stir. Pour into a glass with ice, and serve! I like to garnish them with lime wedges and fresh cranberries. It’s as beautiful as it is delicious. The sweet cranberry juice and the tart lime make the perfect combination for these cranberry margaritas. It is super festive and a perfect cocktail to serve over the holidays! I like to call it a Christmas Margarita!
Prefer your margaritas frozen instead of on the rocks? Just pour these ingredients into your blender with two cups of ice, and let her rip. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid or ice depending on how smoothly your blender grinds everything.
Can This Be Turned into a Cranberry Mocktail?
Yes! If you’d prefer your cranberry margarita alcohol-free, turn this recipe into a mocktail by omitting the tequila and triple sec and substituting with tonic water or your favorite fruity sparkling water!
You can also make this a frozen mocktail by skipping the alcohol, adding your preferred liquid substitute, and blending together until smooth and frothy, like a slushee. This makes for a wonderful treat on a hot summer day!
Looking for more mocktail recipes? Most of my drink recipes can be made alcohol-free!
What’s in Cranberry Margaritas?
- Lime Juice: Opt for fresh squeezed over store-bought. You’ll use 1/2 cup total, which is equal to the juice from approx. four limes.
- Liquor: This recipe for cranberry margaritas calls for a 1/2 cup of tequila and a 1/4 cup of triple sec — the two traditional alcohol components in margaritas.
- Cranberry Juice: You’ll use one cup total. Store-bought is fine, but if you have the time, try making my homemade cranberry juice (recipe below!)
- Ice: For serving on the rocks or blending for frozen.
- Fresh Cranberries: For serving, if desired.
- Lime Wedges and Zest: For serving if desired.
- Sugar or Salt: For the rim of the glasses, if desired.
3 Steps for Homemade Cranberry Margaritas
- Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake or stir until well combined.
- Rim two glasses with sugar or salt, if desired. Fill glasses will ice.
- Divide mixed margaritas between the two glasses, and serve with fresh cranberries, lime wedges, and lime zest for garnish, if desired. enjoy!
Make your own cranberry juice!
Want to take this Christmas margarita up a notch? Then try making your own cranberry juice at home! It’s so simple and easy to make! Ask you have to do is simmer fresh cranberries and water until the sauce is thickened and the cranberries have burst open. It’s also super easy to double or triple this recipe. It’s always equal parts cranberries to water!
Next run it through a sieve to extract all of the liquid.
Add the cranberry juice back to the saucepan and sweeten with sugar or honey to taste. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves into the cranberry juice! Allow the mixture to cool before adding it to your cranberry margaritas!
How To Choose the Best Limes
You know what’s difficult? Knowing how many limes to purchase at a time. I feel like I always either buy a big bag and end of throwing out half of them because they’ve turned into hard, brown rocks, or I only buy one or two, which is never enough.
This cranberry cocktail calls for 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice, which is equal to about four medium-sized limes. But how do you choose the best limes, and how do you juice them properly? Let me tell you!
When picking a lime — especially for a cocktail recipe where this juice is a star ingredient — you want one that’s as packed with as much juice as possible. Unlike lemons, limes don’t vary much in size, making it easier to know the amount of juice per fruit every time. But there are still some key factors to consider when choosing your citrus:
- Look for a smooth, green rind. The smoother the rind, the more juice in your lime. And the greener the lime, the more ripe it is. Avoid yellowish limes with rough brown spots, if possible. This could affect the flavor of the juice inside.
- Pick firm fruit. The firmer and tighter the lime is, the more juice is packed inside. Soft fruits tend to have less juice.
- Don’t be afraid to feel them. The heavier the lime, the more juice it has. So, give it a hold before adding to your shopping cart.
Tips for Getting the Most Juice out of a Lime
Now, for the fun part — juicing those perfectly picked limes!
- First, massage your lime using the palm and heel of your hand by rolling it on your countertop. This will soften the lime and help to separate the individual segments inside, yielding more juice.
- Next, using a sharp pairing knife, slice the lime in half crosswise so that the inside looks like a starburst.
- Then, place one half of your lime in your handheld juicer with the fleshy side facing down. Slowly squeeze the handles of the juicer together over a prep bowl, and watch as you release all of that sweet juice.
- Be on the lookout for seeds and pulp. Store in an airtight container, or measure out by the tablespoon to use in your cocktails or cooking.
One lime roughly yields two tablespoons of liquid, or one fluid ounce. So, for these cranberry margaritas, you’ll need at least four limes.
More Cocktail Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed my Homemade Cranberry Margaritas, then you’ll love these other drink recipes:
- Mixed Berry Margaritas
- Classic Mint Mojito
- White Wine Sangria
- Pomegranate Cranberry Champagne Punch
- Red Wine Sangria
Homemade Cranberry Juice
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Add all of the ingredients to a large measuring cup. Stir to combine.Fill each glass with ice and divide the margarita mixture between the two glasses. Garnish with fresh cranberries and lime slices for garnish, if desired.
Homemade Cranberry Juice
- Add cranberries and water to a small saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes or until all of the cranberries have opened up and burst.
- Pour the cranberry mixture through a sieve to extract all of the juice.
- Transfer the juice back to the saucepan and add in sugar. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.Allow the cranberry juice to cool before adding it to your cocktail.