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Entertaining
6 Best Cocktails Made With Fresh Cranberries

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Cranberry juice cocktail is a beautiful thing; it’s easy to find in grocery stores and lends a fruity, sweet-and-sour quality to classic drinks like the Sex on the Beach and the Bay Breeze. But while the sweetened juice may be convenient, it lacks the natural, mouth-puckering tartness of fresh cranberries. These six delicious cocktails all call for fresh cranberries, either whole or in the form of real-deal juice, with no added sugar.

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Two basic club orders—the Vodka Cran and the Tom Collins—get the mashup treatment in this easy Highball. Whole cranberries, a lemon slice, sugar and orange bitters get muddled together, before getting stirred with vodka and sparkling lemonade in a mixing glass. The whole glass is double-strained into a Highball glass, and topped with more lemonade—and some more fresh cranberries and a lemon slice, if you desire.

The Essentials

Vodka
Whole, Fresh Cranberries
Sparkling Lemonade
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This modern makeover of the Sex on the Beach eschews the original’s sickly sweet reputation by using fresh-pressed cranberry juice and orange bitters, along with the normal mix of vodka, peach liqueur and orange juice. A splash of pineapple juice gives it an extra tropical flair, yielding a truly well-balanced tipple.

The Essentials

Vodka
Peach Liqueur
pineapple juice
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A fall take on the classic Aperol Spritz, this aperitif uses apple cider with two delicate liqueurs: Aperol and Lillet Blanc. The simple blend gets a touch more frutiness from muddled cranberries, and a few extra whole cranberries for garnish.

The Essentials

Aperol
Lillet blanc
apple cider
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Sherry’s nuttiness is a perfect foil to cranberry’s sweet-tart flavor, and this autumnal Sherry Cobbler proves it. Fresh cranberries are muddled with orange slices, then topped with vodka, sherry and demerara syrup. The whole mix gets double-strained into a Highball glass, where it’s lightened with a little soda water.  

The Essentials

Vodka
Sherry
Fresh Cranberries
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The French Press in your kitchen is good for more than just coffee. In this wintery cocktail, you can use it to steep gin, lemon and elderflower with pressed cranberries, juniper berries and thyme. You can steep it for however long you’d like, depending on your potency preferences; the longer you let it steep, the stronger the juniper and thyme will be.

The Essentials

Gin
Lemon Juice
elderflower syrup
Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Mimosas are a staple of any Christmas brunch, but the drink lacks a seasonal flair on its own. This festive twist remedies that by adding cozier flavors, with muddled cranberries, orange blossom honey, fresh rosemary and a splash of Cointreau orange liqueur, for extra booziness.

The Essentials

Fresh Cranberries
Cointreau
Champagne

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