Cranberry martinis are the perfect holiday martini. Festive, flavorful, simple, and total crowd pleasers! Shake up a gorgeous red vodka cranberry today. Your friends and family will be obsessed.
Cranberry martinis are so simple and so beautiful-- they’re one of the best cocktails to get you in the holiday spirit.
In this recipe, our focus is on highlighting the cranberry flavor and maximizing balance. We skip the extra liqueurs and fancy add-ons for a delicious holiday martini that is pure cranberry. It’s tart, flavorful, and crazy smooth-- so smooth, in fact, you should probably warn your guests: the drink has a full 2 oz of vodka in it!
what you need for this cranberry martini recipe:
- unsweetened cranberry juice
- simple syrup
- fresh squeezed lemon juice
how to make a cranberry martini:
- Combine everything in a shaker filled with ice.
- Shake until icy cold.
- Strain into a martini or a coupe glass (it doesn’t matter which!)
- Garnish and enjoy immediately!
best cranberry juice for this vodka cranberry:
This is very important: use 100% unsweetened cranberry juice for this vodka cranberry. Not cranberry cocktail juice. We want the most intense cranberry flavor, and we also want to be able to control the amount of sugar in the final drink. The juice will be almost undrinkable on its own. It’s incredibly tart-- but perfectly cranberry. Don’t worry, we balance out the crantini from here!
what vodka should I use in this cranberry martini?
Use premium vodka here. If you look at the recipe, there are only four ingredients in this cocktail, which means it’s really important to pick high quality across the board. We don’t have the wiggle room here to cover up harshness with a bunch of other flavors.
If you mix in cheap vodka, this cranberry martini will taste like cheap vodka. If you want a silky smooth martini, use good vodka with a smooth, rounded texture and clean flavor.
It doesn’t have to be top shelf vodka, either-- this is a cranberry martini after all. It’s mixed up with sugar, acid and a lot of cranberry flavor. The nuance of the best, most expensive vodka would be lost and wasted.
Premium tier vodkas like Ketel One, Tito’s, Belvedere and Absolut are all great options!
garnish ideas for a cranberry martini:
I love the simple look of thinly sliced cranberries in this martini. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries, but the key is a sharp knife.
If you’d like to switch it up, here are a few more vodka cranberry garnish ideas to get your wheels turning!
- Sugared cranberries, threaded on a cocktail pick
- Sugared rosemary sprig, balanced on the rim
- Lemon twist on the rim
- A thin lemon slice floated on the surface (I would slice a lemon into thin rounds, then quarter the round for a small but elegant garnish)
- Candied orange peel
- Sugared rim
- Pomegranate seeds sprinkled in the glass
how to batch this cranberry martini for a crowd:
This cranberry martini is quick to make to order, but why not batch it if you have a lot of guests? Mix up a large pitcher and keep it chilled in the fridge. Serving your friends and family couldn’t be easier.
This batched cranberry martini recipe will serve 8:
- 2 cups vodka
- 2 cups unsweetened 100% cranberry juice
- 1 cup simple syrup
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
Note: Scaling up cocktails is more of an art than a science. When we shake a martini with ice, a small amount of dilution occurs that isn’t present in a batched martini. So taste the final version and if it's too boozy, mix in 2 oz water to compensate (equal to ¼ oz water per serving). Chill it really well in the fridge, then rebalance with a touch more water or simple syrup when it’s cold, if needed.
what to serve with a cranberry martini:
This cranberry martini is at home at a holiday party (or in the kitchen on Thanksgiving)! It’s tart, just sweet enough, and beautifully smooth.
more holiday cocktails to try!Print
Cranberry martinis are the perfect holiday cocktail: festive, flavorful, simple! They're tart, smooth and just sweet enough for all to love.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 martini
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 oz vodka
- 2 oz unsweetened 100% cranberry juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- ½ oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cranberry, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, cranberry juice, simple syrup and lemon juice. Shake until cold, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a martini glass or a coupe. Garnish with a few cranberry slices . Enjoy immediately.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 209
- Sugar: 19g
- Sodium: 4.6mg
- Fat: 0.1g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 21g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: cranberry martini