The perfect Christmas cocktail for the holiday season, this cranberry gin cocktail is an easy recipe for entertaining or simply for creating your own holiday cheer.
Festive cocktails for holiday parties and Christmas dinner can be over the top. Many include rich liqueurs, egg yolks, egg white, heavy cream, or festive spices. This drink has none of those ingredients. Simple and delicious, this cranberry gin cocktail is a great choice for the holidays but with only 4 ingredients, it's also an easy choice.
Orange bitters impart citrus flavor while taking the place of more tart mixers like lime juice, fresh lemon juice, or other citrus juices. The rosemary simple syrup gives this refreshing drink an unexpected twist and pairs perfectly with herbaceous gin. The flavor of juniper berries in the gin pairs well with rosemary and pure cranberry juice to create a drink that's not too sweet. Serve this Christmas gin cocktail at your next holiday party!
This time of year, ingredients like cinnamon stick, star anise, and even ginger beer are common in festive gin cocktails, but they tend to overwhelm the other ingredients in your drink. By using only 4 ingredients - one of which being good gin - this delicious cocktail is a great sip for the gin lover in your life because you can actually taste the gin!
How to Make a Cranberry Gin Cocktail
Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Shake it up and strain into a glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and/or some frozen cranberries
How to Make Rosemary Simple Syrup
Make your rosemary syrup in advance. When you’re making homemade simple syrup, it needs time to cool. Using warm syrup will cause the ice to melt too fast when you shake up your drink, leading to a watered down cocktail.
Use 100% juice! Be sure to choose pure cranberry juice instead of cranberry juice cocktail, which is mostly sugar. Using anything besides 100% cranberry juice will change the flavor of your drink and make it overly sweet.
FAQs and Substitutions
If you don't have rosemary on hand, you can substitute simple syrup or honey syrup.
Choose a gin with lots of herb flavor in it. I love Knickerbocker Gin by New Holland Distillery here in West Michigan. Beefeater Gin or Bombay Gin would also be delicious in this cocktail.
Frozen cranberries, fresh cranberries, a big sprig of rosemary, and/or a twist of orange peel are all fun garnishes to give this drink a festive finish. (And even though they're green and festive, skip the slice of lime or mint leaves. The flavors will clash with the rosemary and overwhelm the drink.)