Thick, orange-lime cranberry sauce is amazing when shaken with tequila and orange liqueur and then poured over ice. I mean, how can you go wrong with fresh cranberry margaritas? Especially ones which pack as much cranberry flavor as possible into each drink!
There is a chill in the air and the days are getting shorter. Fall is officially here and it’s time to put the comforter on the bed and make apple pies and look at pretty leaves! And it’s the time when thoughts of food bloggers turn to cranberries.
What can I say?
Cranberries and fall go together. Especially around here with the cranberry bogs having their harvests right about now. Anyway, all those thoughts of cranberries made it easy for me to decide on this month’s cocktail! It had to be cranberries, right?
I created a Cranberry Ginger Fizz last fall, which I think that is a pretty great cocktail, but the more the merrier. You can’t have too many cranberry cocktails! So I wanted something a little bit different this year. To that end I made a super thick and super intense cranberry syrup and mixed that with tequila to make cranberry margaritas.
Basically, I made my cranberry sauce with less water and then gave it a puree and strain to make for smooth, thick sauce. It does gel quite impressively, but a good shake mixes it all together into a delicious margarita. I went with sugar on the rim, but I know that salt would work just as well, depending on your tastes.
This is one of those recipes which my husband was always happy to help me test. I wonder why?
Desserts, cranberry margaritas, any recipe with bacon. I think I have the secret to a happy husband! 🙂
If you have some smaller members of the family who want a ‘special cranberry drink’, I mixed the syrup with orange juice and ginger ale for my daughter. I didn’t measure, but it was something along the lines of 1 ounce of cranberry syrup and then equal amounts of orange juice and soda to fill about half the glass and then ice to fill the rest. I didn’t try it, but she loved it! So it must have been good, right? And, yes, I rimmed her glass with sugar too. It’s not so special a drink without the sugar rim!
– Happy Drinking, Annemarie
- 12 oz whole cranberries, either fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp lime juice, about 1 1/2 limes
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 oz (4 tbsp) cranberry syrup
- 3 oz (6 tbsp) tequila
- 1 oz (2 tbsp) lime juice
- 1 oz (2 tbsp) orange liqueur
- sugar - either granulated or sanding sugar to rim the glasses
To make the cranberry syrup: Add all the syrup ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and let the syrup simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst. Cool for 5 minutes. Puree the syrup in a blender and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a container. Transfer the container to the refrigerator until the syrup is cool. Syrup can be made up to 1 week ahead.
To make the margaritas: Prepare two cocktail glasses. Pour a few tablespoons of sugar onto a plate. Wet the rims with a little water or lime juice (the squeezed lime halves are great for running along the edges of the glasses) and turn them upside down onto the plate into the sugar. Once the glasses are rimmed with sugar, fill the glasses about halfway with ice.
Add syrup, tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker. Fill it the rest of the way with ice. Shake vigorously and then pour the cocktail into the two glasses.
The recipe makes a fairly tart margarita. If you like a sweeter margarita, add another 1/4 cup of sugar when making the syrup. If you're already made the syrup and are wishing for a sweeter drink, add either agave syrup or simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water heated until the sugar dissolves) to your drink by the spoonful.
The cranberry syrup is very thick! You will need to give a good shake to break up the gel when you are making the cocktails.
You can, of course, use the syrup as soon as you've strained it. However, it will be quite warm and will melt more of the ice so the drinks will be more diluted.
The syrup recipe makes 16 oz (2 cups) of syrup. To make a pitcher of margaritas, take the cocktail recipe and multiply it by 8. (Which is 2 cups syrup, 3 cups tequila, 1 cup lime juice, and 1 cup orange liqueur.)