Cranberry Gin and Tonic
This Cranberry Gin and Tonic cocktail is dressed up for the holidays with seasonal citrus and cranberries, plus sprigs of fresh thyme. It’s bright, tart, sweet, and earthy…absolutely perfect!
Cranberry Gin and Tonic is a Special Holiday Cocktail
You know that feeling, when you arrive to a dinner party and the host/hostess hands you a beautiful, handcrafted cocktail when you walk through the door? Isn’t that just the best?!
It’s the little details that I especially appreciate. The things that people do to make a gathering feel extra special. Like a hand-lettered menu, a personalized music play list…or a special holiday cocktail, like this festive Cranberry Gin and Tonic.
You can also find this recipe over at The Pioneer Woman – check it out!
This cranberry gin and tonic is quickly becoming an annual tradition at our house. I first served these pretty beverages at a Friendsgiving gathering a few years ago, and now make them year after year. If you’ve been searching for special holiday gin drinks, look no further!
Ingredients for this Gin and Cranberry Cocktail
This cocktail recipe is pretty simple. The only spirit involved is gin. After that, the drink just relies on good, fresh ingredients and some tonic water. Here’s what you’ll need:
- pure cranberry juice – Skip the cranberry juice blends and juices with added sugar. Look for 100% pure cranberry juice!
- gin – Use your favorite gin.
- freshly squeezed Clementine or orange juice – I recommend Clementines first, but Naval oranges will also be great.
- simple syrup – A simple mixture of 50/50 water and sugar that is boiled until the sugar dissolves, and then cooled. It’s a great way to sweeten beverages.
- fresh thyme sprigs – The scent and lightly earthy flavor of muddled thyme is a lovely addition to this drink.
- crushed ice
- tonic water – For that signature Gin & Tonic effervescence and slightly bitter bite!
- fresh cranberries and Clementine slices – For garnish, the final finishing touch.
Besides the fresh cranberries available this time of year, there’s also a larger variety of amazing citrus to enjoy. Squeezing that fresh, sweet juice is one of the elements that make this drink so special, and in tune to the season.
This gin and tonic can easily be made with the more common Navel oranges. But I much prefer sweet little Clementines. They’re an easy-to-peel fruit that our whole family enjoys, so we pretty much always have them on hand during citrus season.
Another plus about the Clementine? I like its smaller shape and thinner rind. When sliced into thin rings, they make a beautiful floating garnish!
Use 100% Pure Cranberry Juice in Cocktails
I know that 100% pure cranberry juice isn’t as easy to find on the store shelves. (Seriously, how many different fruit juices can they combine with cranberries, anyway?!) But I’m a real stickler about this when it comes to cocktails.
Seek out pure cranberry juice for that wonderfully tart cranberry flavor. If you simply must have a sweeter cranberry gin cocktail, then just add a little more simple syrup to your glass.
How to Make a Cranberry Gin and Tonic
- Add cranberry juice, gin, clementine juice, simple syrup, and thyme sprigs to a 12-ounce glass.
- Muddle the thyme against the inside of the glass with the back of a spoon.
- Add crushed ice to 2/3 full.
- Top off with tonic water and give a little stir to incorporate.
- Garnish with a Clementine slice, cranberries, and thyme.
Finish with Fresh Garnishes
Garnishes make the cocktail world go ’round.
Add a thin slice of juicy Clementine, a sprig of thyme, and a few bobbing cranberries. Those ruby red cranberries make a perfect holiday statement (Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Year’s), but also easily extend themselves through the remaining months of winter.
Bright, tart, sweet, and earthy – all these flavors play together so very well in this beautiful cocktail.
Make your next holiday gathering extra special. Hand each guest a cranberry gin and tonic when they walk through your door!
Like this holiday cocktail recipe? Save it to Pinterest!
Here are a few more holiday cocktails you might like:
- Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita from Show Me the Yummy
- St. Germain Gin and Tonic from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Gingerbread White Russian from Running to the Kitchen
- Cranberry Pineapple Punch from Real Housemoms
- 1.5 oz. pure cranberry juice
- 1.5 oz. gin
- 1.5 oz. freshly squeezed Clementine or orange juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 3 small sprigs fresh thyme, divided
- crushed ice
- cold tonic water
- a few fresh cranberries or sugared cranberries, for garnish
- To a 12-ounce glass, add cranberry juice, gin, clementine juice, simple syrup, and two sprigs of the thyme. With the back of a spoon, muddle the thyme against the inside of the glass.
- Add crushed ice to 2/3 full. Then top the remainder of the glass off with tonic water. Give a little stir to incorporate.
- Garnish with the remaining thyme sprig and a few fresh cranberries or a cocktail pick of sugared cranberries.
from a farmgirl's dabbles
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 47mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 2gSugar: 72gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2017, and then updated in 2020.