Cranberry Delight Cocktail Recipe

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Cranberry Delight Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Cranberry Delight cocktail is a refreshing and fruity concoction that was first created in the 1980s. It quickly gained popularity among those who enjoyed a lighter, sweeter alternative to traditional cocktails. This drink is perfect for those who love the tangy taste of cranberries and the sweetness of orange liqueur.

  • Originated in the 1980s
  • Popular among those who prefer lighter, sweeter cocktails
  • Perfect for cranberry lovers

How Cranberry Delight Tastes?

The Cranberry Delight cocktail is a perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and fruity flavors. The cranberry juice provides a tart and refreshing taste, while the orange liqueur adds a hint of sweetness. The vodka gives it a smooth and subtle kick, making it an easy-drinking and enjoyable cocktail.

Interesting facts about Cranberry Delight

  • The cranberry is one of the few fruits native to North America
  • Cranberries are known for their health benefits, including their high antioxidant content
  • The Cranberry Delight cocktail is sometimes referred to as a 'Cranberry Cosmo' due to its similarities with the classic Cosmopolitan cocktail


A few good options for Cranberry Delight are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • Used as the base spirit, vodka provides a crisp and clean canvas for the other flavors. The 1.5 oz measure ensures the cocktail has enough kick without overpowering the mix. Substituting with another spirit, such as rum or gin, would create an entirely new character.

Mary Mitkina

Cranberry Juice

  • This is the heart of the cocktail, offering a sharp, fruity tang. At 3 oz, it balances out the strength of the vodka and adds color and tartness. Without it, the 'cranberry' in Cranberry Delight becomes a misnomer. Go for 100% cranberry juice, not the sweetened kind, for a true delight.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur

  • At 0.5 oz, orange liqueur adds a subtle sweet and citrus zing. It bridges the vodka and cranberry juice, making the drink well-rounded. Missing out on this could make the cocktail less complex. Try a dash of triple sec or Cointreau as they are excellent alternatives.

Emma Rose

Lime Juice

  • A half ounce of fresh lime juice injects bright acidity, which cuts through and balances the sweetness. Omitting lime juice might leave the cocktail too sweet or flat. Lemon juice could be a substitute, though it changes the flavor profile slightly.

Mary Mitkina


  • Necessary for chilling the ingredients and ensuring a refreshing experience. Without ice, you'd miss that brisk coolness that makes sipping a joy. Crushed ice can be used for a quicker chill, or large cubes for a slower dilution.

Alex Green

Orange Twist

  • Adds an aromatic nose to the drink before you even take a sip. Olive or lemon twist can be a substitute, but the cocktail will have a different aroma.

Emma Rose

Garnish: Fresh Cranberries

  • They add a festive touch and reinforce the cranberry theme. If they're out of season, a small slice of lime or an orange could also be a pretty garnish.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Cranberry Delight Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime juice
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  5. Garnish with an orange twist and fresh cranberries

Pro Tips

  • Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously to ensure all ingredients are well mixed
  • Use fresh cranberry juice for the best flavor
  • Chill the martini glass before pouring the cocktail to keep it cool for longer

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese plates: Mild cheeses like Brie or Camembert pair nicely with the tartness of the Cranberry Delight.
  • Seafood: Grilled shrimp or smoked salmon can complement the cocktail's citrusy profile.

Main Courses

  • Poultry: Turkey or chicken dishes are a natural pairing for cranberry flavors.
  • Pork: A roasted pork loin would be lovely with the sweetness and acidity of the drink.


  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate can balance the cocktail's tartness.
  • Citrus Desserts: Lemon bars or orange sorbet would enhance the citrus notes in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Cranberry Delight

  • Vodka: Can be replaced with gin for a different flavor profile
  • Orange Liqueur: Triple sec can be used as a substitute
  • Cranberry Juice: Pomegranate juice can be used for a sweeter taste

Explore all drinks starting with C here

And of course - twists🍹

Cranberry Delight Fizz

  • Ingredients: Replace orange liqueur with elderflower liqueur, and top with club soda.
  • Recipe: Follow original recipe, then, top the drink with club soda.
  • Description: The elderflower liqueur provides a floral note, and the club soda adds fizz, lightening the drink and making it more refreshing.

Spicy Cranberry Delight

  • Ingredients: Add a thin slice of jalapeño to the shaker.
  • Recipe: Muddle the jalapeño slice in the shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Description: This fiery twist adds a spicy kick that contrasts with the sweetness and tartness of the original cocktail, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of heat.

Cranberry Delight Mocktail

  • Ingredients: Use non-alcoholic vodka and skip the orange liqueur.
  • Recipe: Replace the alcohol with a non-alcoholic substitute or additional cranberry juice and a splash of orange juice.
  • Description: This non-alcoholic version keeps the flavors but removes the kick, making it a delightful option for teetotalers and designated drivers.

In case you forgot basics how to make Cranberry Delight

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cranberry Delight

What is the best type of vodka to use for the Cranberry Delight?

While this ultimately depends on personal preference, a premium vodka brand such as Grey Goose or Belvedere can enhance the cocktail's flavor.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Cranberry Delight?

Yes, you can substitute the vodka and orange liqueur with more cranberry juice or a non-alcoholic spirit.

What can I serve with the Cranberry Delight?

This cocktail pairs well with light appetizers, such as cheese and crackers, or seafood dishes.

How can I make my own orange liqueur?

Homemade orange liqueur can be made by infusing vodka with orange peels and mixing it with simple syrup. However, the process takes several weeks.

Why is the cocktail sometimes referred to as a 'Cranberry Cosmo'?

This nickname comes from the cocktail's similarity to the Cosmopolitan cocktail, which also features cranberry juice and orange liqueur.

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