Holiday events are the perfect time to bring out the champagne glasses. This fresh cranberry champagne cocktail recipe is perfect for holiday parties. Its vibrant color and bubbly champagne make it the perfect choice for special occasions.
Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect time to serve this festive cocktail. But this champagne cocktail is hit all holiday season. It’s especially festive on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.
This simple cocktail is a twist on a classic old-school cocktail called a ‘French 75.’
Ingredients for A Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
- Gin. I recommend a dry gin such as Hendrick’s for this cocktail.
- Lemon juice. Freshly squeezed is always best. But bottled will work in a pinch.
- Cranberry simple syrup. You can make your own or buy it online.
- Champagne. Brut champagne is the traditional choice. But cava or prosecco will also work in this cocktail recipe.
This cranberry Christmas cocktail dresses up for a party nicely. You can keep it simple with lemon twists or add a few sugared cranberries and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
- lemon twists
- sugared cranberries
- fresh rosemary sprigs
How to Make This Winter Cocktail
Step 1 – Make the frosted cranberries:
These are an optional garnish but make a Christmas cocktail extra festive. These sugar-coated gems give this cocktail an extra fancy look while requiring no additional skill.
- Whisk an egg white until it is frothy.
- Toss the fresh cranberries in whisked egg whites and then roll them in sugar. Set them on a baking sheet.
- Let them dry overnight.
Step 2 – Make the cranberry syrup
This basic simple syrup is made with fresh cranberries. [note 1]
- Add the sugar, water, and fresh cranberries to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the temperature and let the mixture simmer until the cranberries burst and the syrup has a bright hue.
- Strain and store until ready for use.
Step 3 – Mix the cocktail
- Add cranberry syrup, lemon, and gin in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously and then strain into champagne flutes.
- Garnish with a twist of lemon and a few sugared cranberries.
- Swap out the gin. A similar cranberry cocktail is called the Poinsettia Cocktail. It uses Cointreau and cranberry juice. See the recipe card for the details.
- Holiday mimosa. There is not a simpler holiday drink than a cranberry mimosa. Add cranberry juice to a champagne flute and top with champagne.
- Make a champagne punch. If you’re having a holiday party, this festive drink is a delicious cocktail you can serve in a punch bowl. I recommend a molded ice ring studded with fresh cranberries and rosemary to float in the punch.
- Pomegranate juice. Pomegranate also makes a fabulous winter cocktail. You can use pomegranate juice instead of cranberry juice in this recipe.
- Non alcholic cocktail. Use sparkling cider in this recipe to make a mocktail version of this holiday cocktail.
FAQs and Expert Tips
What is the difference between champagne, sparkling wine, and prosecco?
- Champagne – Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the Northeast Champagne region of France. It’s made of chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes grown in this region. If your bottle didn’t come from there – it’s not champagne. That doesn’t mean it’s not delicious!
- Prosecco – Italy’s version of champagne. It is produced in the Veneto region of Italy and made with glera grapes.
- Cava– Spanish bubbling wine made primarily from Parellada, Macabeo and Xarel-lo grapes.
- Sparkling wine – Any bubbly wine that isn’t champagne.
What drinks go with Thanksgiving dinner?
When you want something festive and aren’t ready to break open the pinot noir, a refreshing cranberry cocktail is perfect for your holiday guests. This cocktail is best in the Winter because you can get fresh cranberries. But you can make this cranberry cocktail any time of year with frozen cranberries or cranberry juice.
This cocktail is more than just a cranberry champagne mimosa; it’s a cranberry gin cocktail.
Find out what your signature drink says about you.
More Champagne cocktails You’ll Love
Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
- 1 ½ oz gin, Hendricks
- ½ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz cranberry simple syrup (affiliate link)
- 2 oz champagne
- lemon twist
- 2 sugared cranberries
- sprigs of fresh rosemary
Homemade Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 1 ¼ cup sugar (affiliate link)
- 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Combine the water and sugar in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the cranberries and simmer for 10 minutes – or until the cranberries pop. Remove from heat, cool and strain. [Yields 1 1/4 cups. Keeps 3 weeks in the refrigerator.]
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, lemon juice and cranberry syrup. Shake vigourously until there is frost on the outside of the cocktail shaker. Strain into a champagne flute. Top with champagne.
- Garnish with a lemon twist, sugared cranberries and a rosemary, if desired. .
Laura’s Tips + Notes
- Cranberry syrup alternative: 1 cup cranberry juice and 2 cups of granulated sugar.
- This recipe makes one cocktail. If you are serving guests, you can mix up the gin, lemon, and cranberry syrup mixture in advance. Just pre-mix it and throw it in the fridge. Top with cold champagne just before serving.
- There is no need to open the fancy champagne when you are using it in a cocktail. Save the expensive stuff for appreciating on its own!
YOUR OWN NOTES
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Other cranberry recipes that you might like.
- Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Mulled Wine Cranberry Sauce – Seriously, the best cranberry sauce recipe.
- Brandied Cranberry Sauce – made in the microwave.