Merry Berry Buck Cocktail Recipe

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Merry Berry Buck 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 16, 2024


The Merry Berry Buck is a delightful cocktail that captures the essence of joyous gatherings and festive seasons. It's a relatively modern concoction that has gained popularity for its vibrant taste and refreshing appeal.

  • Who Would Like It?
    • Fans of bourbon.
    • Those who appreciate a fruity twist.
    • Cocktail enthusiasts looking for a festive drink.

How Merry Berry Buck Tastes?

The Merry Berry Buck offers a harmonious blend of sweet and tart flavors, with the robustness of Maker's Mark Bourbon softened by the tangy lemon and sweet cranberry juice. The ginger beer adds a spicy effervescence that makes the drink lively and invigorating.

Interesting facts about Merry Berry Buck

  • The bourbon base of the Merry Berry Buck makes it a hit in regions where whiskey is cherished.
  • Cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving; they add a festive touch to cocktails year-round.
  • Ginger beer, not to be confused with ginger ale, is what gives this cocktail its distinctive fizz and spice.


A few good options for Merry Berry Buck are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Maker's Mark Bourbon

Maker's Mark brings a smooth, full-flavored base to the cocktail. The 1.5 oz is perfect—enough to notice the rich, woody notes, but not so much to overwhelm the other flavors. Skipping the bourbon would be like going to a party and forgetting to invite the guest of honor! An alternative could be a rye whiskey, which would add a spicier kick.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

Fresh lemon juice at 0.75 oz adds a just-right zesty tang, brightening the drink and balancing the sweetness. Less would leave the drink too sweet, more would pucker your lips excessively. A lime could swap in for a different citrus twist, making the drink a bit more tropical.

Emma Rose

Cranberry Juice

The 1.5 oz of cranberry juice provides a tart counterpoint to the bourbon and complements the citrus notes. Without it, the 'berry' in 'Merry Berry Buck' would be sorely missed. Pomegranate juice could be an exotic stand-in, offering a deeper flavor profile.

Mary Mitkina

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer tops off the cocktail, adding fizz and a mild spice. It's the effervescent finishing touch, like the star on a Christmas tree. No ginger beer means no buck! An alternative might be ginger ale, for a lighter, sweeter end result.

Alex Green


Cranberries are not just for garnish; they add a pop of color and a hint of tartness if muddled into the drink. They're the holly berries to your holiday cocktail wreath. No cranberries could leave your drink 'berry' lonely. Frozen berries can double as ice cubes.

Emma Rose

Lemon Wheel

The lemon wheel isn’t just a pretty face—it’s a visual cue tying the lemon juice in the drink to the garnish. Skip it, and the presentation suffers. A lime wheel could be used for a burst of green and a tie to a lime juice substitution.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Merry Berry Buck Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add 1½ oz of Maker's Mark Bourbon.
  3. Pour in ¾ oz of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Add 1½ oz of cranberry juice.
  5. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients.
  6. Strain the mixture into a highball glass filled with ice.
  7. Top with ginger beer.
  8. Garnish with fresh cranberries and a lemon wheel.

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill the highball glass before serving to keep the cocktail cooler for longer.
  • If you like your drinks a bit sweeter, you can add a dash of simple syrup to the shaker.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platter: The creamy and salty nature of cheeses will complement the sweet and tangy flavors of the Merry Berry Buck.
  • Grilled Shrimp: The lemon juice in the cocktail will resonate well with seafood, especially with a light char from grilling.

Main Courses

  • Roast Turkey: The cranberry and bourbon flavors make this cocktail a fitting partner for a savory turkey dish, especially during the holidays.
  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches: The sweet and spicy profile of the Merry Berry Buck can stand up to the richness of pulled pork.


  • Lemon Tart: The sharp citrus in the cocktail will echo the tartness in the dessert, creating a harmonious pairing.
  • Dark Chocolate: The bourbon's inherent richness pairs nicely with the bitterness of dark chocolate.

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What you could change in Merry Berry Buck

  • Bourbon: If Maker's Mark is unavailable, try using Bulleit Bourbon or Woodford Reserve for a similar quality.
  • Ginger Beer: For a non-alcoholic version, use ginger ale, though the taste will be slightly sweeter and less spicy.
  • Cranberry Juice: Pomegranate juice can be a good substitute if you're looking for a different twist.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Blackberry Buck

Replace cranberry juice with blackberry puree for a thicker, more jammy drink. The blackberry's sweetness will be a stark contrast to the ginger beer's zing, and the color will be a deep, inviting purple. It's the broody cousin to our merry cocktail.

Seasonal Spice Buck

Add a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg to the shaker before mixing. These warm spices will make it taste like Christmas in a cup, turning our Merry Berry Buck into a festive holiday elixir.

Frozen Berry Buck

Blend all the ingredients with a scoop of ice to make a frozen version of the Merry Berry Buck. This twist is perfect for summer days when you need refreshment with a kick. It's like a slushie that's all grown up!

In case you forgot basics how to make Merry Berry Buck

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 Merry Berry Buck

How should I store Maker's Mark Bourbon for the best flavor preservation?

Store your Maker's Mark Bourbon in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Ensure the bottle is properly sealed to prevent oxidation, which can affect the flavor.

Is garnishing with cranberries and lemon wheel essential to the Merry Berry Buck experience?

While the garnishes enhance the visual appeal and can add a hint of flavor to the drink, they are not essential. The cocktail will still be enjoyable without them.

Can the Merry Berry Buck be made as a batch cocktail for parties?

Yes, the Merry Berry Buck can be prepared in larger quantities and served from a punch bowl or pitcher. Add the ginger beer just before serving to maintain its fizziness.

Can I use frozen cranberries for garnishing?

Absolutely, frozen cranberries can be used as a garnish and they'll also help to keep the drink chilled.

What is the ideal type of ice for the Merry Berry Buck?

Using large ice cubes or spheres is ideal as they melt slower, preventing the cocktail from diluting too quickly.

Can this cocktail be made in advance?

You can mix the bourbon, lemon juice, and cranberry juice ahead of time, but it's best to add the ginger beer just before serving to preserve carbonation.

Is there a specific order to add the ingredients when making the cocktail?

For mixing, start with the bourbon followed by the other non-carbonated ingredients. The ginger beer should be added last to keep its effervescence.

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