20 best Cranberry juice cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

Photography by Dan Malpass

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Cranberry was huge in the world of cocktails in the 1990s and played a key role in the decade's most important cocktail, the Cosmopolitan, while also being marketed for its health benefits. More exotic juices have since emerged to tempt bartenders' creativity, but cranberry juice rightly remains a bar staple and a key cocktail ingredient.

Served in long drinks such as the Seabreeze, cranberry juice is the base to many summer coolers while its rich red colour and link with cranberry sauce and the festive turkey ensures its inclusion in Christmas cocktails. Due to its tart, almost bitter, berry notes, cranberry juice also adds a touch of complexity to non-alcoholic cocktails so fittingly I've kicked off the following selection with a temperance cocktail.

Lastly, packaged cranberry juices vary massively in both quality and sweetness, so choose your cranberry juice wisely.

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Berry Blast (non-alcoholic)
With: Fresh raspberries, lemon juice, passion fruit syrup, cold black tea, and cranberry juice.

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Christmas Cosmopolitan
With: Vodka, triple sec, falernum, cranberry juice, and lime juice.

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Christmas Daiquiri
With: Gold rum, lime juice, falernum, cranberry juice, and Daiquiri Bitters.

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Christmas Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, triple sec, falernum, lime juice, cranberry juice, and Margarita Bitters.

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Cosmopolitan Cocktail (Difford's recipe
With: Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice, and orange bitters.

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Creole Cosmo
With: Créole shrubb liqueur, blanc, rhum Agricole, vranberry juice, and lime juice.

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Eclipse
With: Fresh raspberries, bourbon, black raspberry liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice.

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Ginger Cosmo
With: Vodka, ginger liqueur, ginger syrup, cranberry juice, lime juice, and ginger bitters.

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Grand Cosmopolitan
With: Vodka, cognac orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lime juice, and orange bitters.

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Honey Cosmopolitan
With: Grapefruit vodka, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, honey syrup, and grapefruit bitters.

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Maria Theresa Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, and honey syrup.

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Mexico City
With: Reposado tequila, cognac orange liqueur, lime juice, cranberry juice, and sugar syrup.

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Minty Pentones
With: Gin, cranberry juice, white crème de menthe, mastiha liqueur, and peppermint bitters.

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Mission Bell
With: Mezcal, Americano rosso, pink grapefruit liqueur, cranberry juice, hiney syrup, and Margarita Bitters.

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Nautilus
With: Reposado tequila, cranberry juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup.

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Nelson's Blood No.2
With: Navy rum, cranberry juice, orange juice, lime juice, sugar syrup, and aromatic bitters.

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Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
With: Basil leaves, vodka, black raspberry liqueur, triple sec, cognac orange liqueur, cranberry juice, and strawberry puree.

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Rosarita Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, cognac orange liqueur, cranberry juice, lime cordial, lime juice, and sugar syrup.

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Rude Cosmopolitan
With: Reposado tequila, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice, and orange bitters.

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Yule Luv It
With: Cognac orange liqueur, ginger liqueur, rosso vermouth, cranberry juice, lime juice, and ginger bitters.

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