A cranberry martini is a delicious twist on a classic, iconic drink. With the addition of cranberry vodka or cranberry juice, your favorite martini recipe takes on an entirely new personality. The vibrant colors and slightly sweet and tart taste of a cranberry vodka martini are unforgettable. We love them so much that we’ve collected ten of our favorite recipes to share with you.
Cranberry Vodka or Cranberry Juice?
Of course, a cranberry vodka martini will have that unmistakable tart but sweet flavor of cranberries. The question is, what’s the best way to get that cranberry flavor into your martini glass? As a lover of all things cranberry, you have two choices – you can use cranberry-flavored vodka or opt for cranberry juice instead.
There really isn’t a right or wrong way to get that wonderful cranberry flavor. Cranberry vodka is great because it adds flavor without the extra ingredient (or extra calories) of cranberry juice. Plus, if you’re looking for a cranberry martini that doesn’t have that telltale cranberry hue, there are flavored vodkas without the added coloring.
Cranberry juice is also a good choice because, let’s be honest, nothing really captures the true flavor like real cranberry juice. If you’re going the juice route, it’s best to choose sweetened cranberry juice because unsweetened juice can really be quite tart, which isn’t always the flavor you’re going for with a cranberry vodka martini.
Most of the cranberry martini recipes on this list choose the cranberry juice option, but we strongly encourage a little creative license and experimentation. If you happen to have cranberry vodka on hand, there’s no reason not to swap it out for the regular vodka in these delicious cocktails.
Components of a Great Cranberry Martini Recipe
Almost every cranberry martini recipe shares similar ingredients, with the addition of something different to make it unique. When looking for a great cranberry martini recipe, you’ll often find that they include orange liqueur or orange juice. Orange and cranberry are classic flavors that blend together perfectly in a cocktail.
Some recipes will list a certain orange liqueur used, and others leave it up to your discretion. Some common orange liqueurs that are used in drinks include triple sec, Cointreau, and Grand Marinier. A nice specialty liquor store will likely have even more options.
Another ingredient that you’ll often see is dry vermouth. Dry vermouth is standard in a regular vodka or gin martini, but some choose to include it in the shaker when they make a cranberry version of the classic drink. A good quality dry vermouth really makes all the difference, and you might want to play around with the exact ratio of vermouth that you prefer based on the other notes of the cocktail.
The 10 Best Cranberry Martini Recipes
1. Classic Cranberry Martini
If you’re looking for a classic cranberry martini recipe, this one is perfect. It includes a perfect pour of vodka mixed with orange liqueur, dry vermouth, cranberry juice, and ice. Add it to your cocktail shaker, then shake it up and pour. Garnish with a few cranberries, and you have a vision of perfection in a martini glass.
2. Tart & Sweet Cranberry Martini
This version is similar to the classic cranberry martini but with a few added elements that bring a bit more richness and sweetness to the cocktail. In this martini, you use Cointreau, a French orange liqueur, along with vodka, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The lemon and sweetness from the syrup compliment this martini nicely.
3. Cranberry Martini with Flavored Vodka
This cranberry martini has a little secret, and it isn’t one you’d necessarily expect. The ingredients are simple – cranberry juice, lime juice, and vodka, but it’s the type of vodka that makes this cocktail recipe unique.
Blackberry vodka is used instead of unflavored or cranberry flavored vodka. The blackberry flavor with the cranberry juice is out of this world and will quickly become one of your favorite cocktail recipes.
4. Cranberry Martini with Fresh Cranberry Sauce
If you’ve been thinking that cranberry sauce has no place in a cocktail, we think it might be time to expand your horizons. Thai cranberry martini recipe features homemade cranberry sauce and vodka. The presentation in the martini glasses is a stunning deep hue that begs to be sipped. Fresh cranberries and a sugar rim top off the look.
5. Crantini Cocktail
This unique cranberry martini combined unflavored vodka with the sweet richness of a cranberry liqueur. This martini recipe doesn’t mention a brand of cranberry liqueur to use, but a well-stocked liquor store should have at least one or be able to order one in special for you. Garnish this with frozen or fresh cranberries for a special treat any time of the year.
6. Mistletoe Martini
Tis the season for good food, great company, and dreamy cocktails. The Mistletoe Martini is a cranberry martini that has been kissed with elderflower liqueur and simple syrup. Add this deliciousness to your cocktail shaker, then do a little dance and shake vigorously before pouring it into chilled martini glasses. Garnish this beauty with fresh cranberries and a sprig of mint for a festive touch.
7. White Cranberry Martini
This beautiful white cranberry martini is missing its cranberry hue, but we can’t complain. It looks absolutely pristine sitting in a martini glass, just waiting for you to sip and raise a toast. White cranberry juice, simple syrup, and lime juice are married with vodka in the martini recipe. Garnish with a twist of lime or lime wedge, and it’s absolute perfection.
8. Cranberry Lemon Drop Martini
It’s difficult to argue that there’s a better cocktail combination than cranberry and lemon. We love this cranberry lemon drop martini, where the two flavors are perfectly balanced with just the right amount of tart and sweetness. This recipe calls for cranberry simple syrup that you have to make ahead of time, fresh lemon juice, and premium vodka. Refreshing and delicious.
9. Cranberry Martini with Cranberry Infused Vodka
Of all of the cranberry martini recipes we’ve looked at and tried, this one ranks among the most unique. The standout features of this martini recipe are the cranberry-infused vodka and a bit of cranberry horseradish in the mix. If you don’t have the time or inclination to make the cranberry-infused vodka yourself, you can always use cranberry-flavored vodka instead.
10. Spicy Cinnamon Red Mint Cranberry Martini
If you’re looking for a little spice in your life, make up a batch of these spicy cranberry martinis – we promise you won’t be disappointed. The ingredient list is a little longer and more complex than your standard cranberry martini recipe, but the extra effort is worth it.
The real secret to how this recipe works is the homemade simple syrup that’s infused with cinnamon red mint leaves. You might have to head to a specialty grocery store to find these. Combine the simple syrup with muddled sugared cranberries, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and dry vermouth. Add a nice thick sugar rim (bonus if you dip the rim in cinnamon sugar) and sit back and enjoy your new favorite drink.
Say Cheers to the Perfect Cranberry Martini
We love the flavor of a beautiful cranberry martini during the fall and winter, but honestly, they’re a perfect drink any time of year. You might have your favorite, but exploring new cranberry martini recipes is half the fun. These 10 recipes for cranberry martinis offer the perfect opportunity for a little taste test. Enjoy!