I know what you’re thinking: it’s February, and this Cranberry Margarita sounds like a Christmas drink. Well, it can be, and it almost was. Let me explain. My original Christmas 2021 menu had this recipe as the cocktail, but it got bumped when I found the adorable Holiday Gin & Tonic. I just couldn’t resist those cute fillable ornaments! I thought about moving this recipe to my Christmas 2022 menu, but then Margarita Day came around and it was the perfect excuse to try this recipe a little sooner. Besides, it’s still wintertime, and I think a frosty cocktail with a frosty sugared cranberry garnish still works. Let’s give it a try!
These delicious Mistletoe Cranberry Margaritas are just the thing to spice up any party or girls night!
I had a bottle of triple sec and just enough Casa Migos Tequila to make a couple of these Cranberry Margarita. That left me to buy some cranberry juice and limes, but that was no big deal.
I also picked up some fresh cranberries since I noticed them in the photo. What I didn’t notice (and should have) was the mint garnish. Thank goodness the hubs was able to swing by the store and pick up a packet for me. I really wish the garnishes were listed with the other ingredients.
I’m used to making margaritas on the rocks, so this Cranberry Margarita was a little different. I read through the recipe and noticed the part about the sugared cranberries. Mainly that the instructions say to make them last because the sugar will melt.
I have made sugared fruit many times, and that has never been a problem. I think it’s due to the method. The recipe says to soak fresh cranberries in lime juice then roll them in sugar. It makes sense that the wet lime juice would dissolve the sugar. I wasn’t having that!
Tip: I used the recipe below to make a batch of sugared cranberries that would last. In fact, the sugared cranberries in my photos were done the day before the margaritas, and they still had plenty of sugar on them.
In short, my method is to soak the cranberries in simple syrup, then let them dry. The dried cranberries are very sticky! Rolling them in sugar gives them that frosty effect, and it lasts. The downside is it takes a good hour to complete whereas the recipe’s version only takes a minute or two.
With my sugared cranberries and other ingredients in hand, making the Cranberry Margarita was pretty simple. Tip: I filled two rocks glasses with crushed ice to chill them quickly. As they chilled, I added all the ingredients to my blender and blended. The mixture didn’t seem slushy enough, so I added more ice until I liked the consistency. I’d say I doubled the amount.
Once the margaritas were blended, I dumped out the crushed ice and rimmed the glasses as instructed. A sprig of fresh mint and a few sugared cranberries to garnish, and I was ready to snap a few photos and give them a try.
Sugared Cranberries (No cooking required!)
- mixing bowl
- slotted spoon
- wire cooling rack
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup simple syrup * See notes
- Place cranberries into a small mixing bowl. Pour the simple syrup over them and stir to thoroughly coat each cranberry.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the cranberries from the bowl and place them onto a wire cooling rack. Allow to dry for at least 1 hour.
- Pour half the sugar into a small mixing bowl that is completely dry. Add the cranberries, then pour the rest of the sugar over them. Gently stir to ensure all the berries are coated with sugar.
- Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon. Use immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container for 2-3 days.