Cranberry Margaritas

by Shawnda on November 8, 2011

in Beverages,Christmas,Cinco de Mayo,Fruit,Holiday Favorites,Margaritas,Mexican & TexMex,Thanksgiving

Cranberry Margaritas

‘Tis the season – cranberry margarita season! It’s what comes between Raspberry Margarita Season and Grapefruit Margarita Season :)

We’re big margarita people so finding new seasonal fruits to blend with tequila has become our Friday night hobby. Sometimes we get a little too serious about getting a recipe just right with “official testing,” complete with notepads, pencils, and a scoring system. Other times we can eye a recipe and just know it’s a winner. Like this one.

I had a cranberry margarita at a Christmas party last year and loved it. So I had a few more :) Cranberries, cranberry juice, orange, lime, and tequila are blended together and served over ice. I’m not big on the peppermint-y cocktails that are usually served at holiday dinners so to me, this is the perfect holiday cocktail.

Cranberry Margaritas

A festive cranberry margarita recipe perfect for holiday dinners and parties.


  • 3/4 cup 100% cranberry juice* (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided* (see note below)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) fresh or thawed cranberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (5-6 limes)
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup orange liqueur


  1. Pour the cranberry juice into the blender, reserving 1 Tbsp.
  2. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp sugar onto a small plate.
  3. Use the cranberry juice to coat the rims of 4 to 6 glasses (6 to 8 oz each) and then dip the glasses into the sugar. Fill with ice and set aside.
  4. Reserve 12 cranberries and place the rest in the blender along with the water, sugar, lime juice, tequila, and orange liqueur.
  5. Blend 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  6. Pour through a strainer to catch the cranberry pulp.
  7. Pour the strained margarita into glasses and garnish with reserved berries.


Yields: 4 servings

Slightly adapted from Sunset Magazine

Estimated time: 10 minutes

* I use 100% cranberry juice – it doesn’t have added sugar so it’s not the stuff a normal person would drink straight – and add a little water to lighten it up. It keeps the margarita tart and not too sweet. If you can’t find 100% cranberry juice (check the label), go with your favorite cranberry juice “cocktail” and consider adding only half the sugar at first and then blending in the rest to-taste. Your margarita will be a lighter color. But festive nonetheless :)


{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen November 8, 2011 at 12:34 am

I wasn’t a tequila person for a long time after one evening of ummm…overindulgence, but I’ve recently been getting back into it in the form of margaritas. A cranberry version sounds amazing, and these look so perfect for Thanksgiving/Christmas!


2 Ann P. November 8, 2011 at 2:29 am

These are absolutely GORGEOUS! It’s only Monday, ok technically Tuesday, but I got home after 14 hours and needed one PRONTO! So appropriate for the festive season too :) I’m ready for winter break and more delicious eats! Oh, and I love the way you taste tested/graded these. That’s how you ID a real foodie! :D


3 Katrina November 8, 2011 at 6:48 am

Mmm these are fantastic sounding! So red and pretty.


4 Tina@mylifeasamrs November 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

ummm… these are GENIUS! I am making these… STAT. :)


5 Barbara | Creative Culinary November 8, 2011 at 9:05 am

Gorgeous. I love margaritas and I love cranberries! I also host a weekly post on my blog called Happy Hour Friday…please come and link up your cocktail(s) and share!


6 Chelsea November 8, 2011 at 10:04 am

Ummm yes. This sounds festive and yummy!


7 Sothea November 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Everything about this would be great for a holiday party! Can’t wait to try it.


8 Ashley L November 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Oh wow! I thought I had my Thanksgiving drink figured out but it will definitely be this now!


9 Kelsey November 8, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I love this idea. Thank you for sharing!


10 Jessie November 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Oh my. These are beautiful. And I imagine they taste beautiful. I never knew you could merge fall flavors and margaritas. You may be my new hero for showing me this path!


11 Krissy@DaintyChef November 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Love the idea of a cranberry margarita, yum! Thanks for sharing!


12 angela November 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

is there a brand name you use for ‘orange liquer’?


13 foodiebride November 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

We use Paula’s Texas Orange.


14 Sarah November 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm

These are so pretty, and I bet they taste amazing! Have to give these a go :)


15 Jessica @ Sunny Side Up November 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

These are gorgeous, and festive, and wonderful. I love finding new uses for cranberry juice!


16 Joanne November 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm

I like my margaritas to be on the tarter side so I know I would adore this!


17 Cate November 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

Oh, hello perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving! I am so excited about these!


18 Carolyn November 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

A new margarita…. YES PLEASE!!! Can’t wait to try!


19 Maria November 10, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Thanks for sharing this recipe! This is such a nice idea for a wintery Mexican cocktail that can be had with almost any kind of Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. I re-blogged this on my blog, “A Mexican Fiesta”, I hope you’ll check it out!

A Mexican Fiesta


20 Cara November 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

I would love one of these on Thanksgiving!


21 Michelle @ Blogitness November 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I will definitely be giving these a try for a Christmas party I’ll be hosting next month!


22 Deena November 12, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Oooh, this is officially on the holiday party menu! Fun!


23 Liz November 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

What kind of tequila do you recommend?


24 foodiebride November 25, 2011 at 10:55 am

We use Sauza Hornitos Plata.


25 That Pink House November 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

These beautiful and delicious cocktails started our Thanksgiving feast off on just the right note! SOOO good! Thanks for sharing it. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!


26 Christine January 2, 2012 at 6:51 am

You are awesome! I made this on Christmas, and they were a big hit. I dyed my sugar bright green and it gave a cute contrast, here’s a picture:

Thank you!


27 Chelsea January 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I made these for a Christmas dinner party (for like 5 men) and they LOVED them. Thanks for sharing!


28 Liz Parker November 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

I made these last year for my family Thanksgiving. A large pitcher and I was a very happy camper. We are having a Friendsgiving on Saturday and this is the star of the alcohol show! YUM!


29 Mandy November 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Shawnda, I want to make these for Thanksgiving, but we live in PA and are going to MA…thus, it won’t be my kitchen, and my dear mother can get fussy about others being in her kitchen. ;-) So, do you think if I made them at home and brought them they would still be good? I have been wanting to try these–I was pregnant last year when you posted them! Thanks!


30 foodiebride November 16, 2012 at 7:39 am

I’d have no reservations about making them 1-2 days before and putting them in the fridge (and cooler for travel). I’d save the alcohol to add before serving.


31 Linda December 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Want one now! If they taste as festive as they look….bring it on!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: