This deeply flavored Cranberry Ginger Mocktail is spiced with fresh ginger, a homemade cinnamon simple syrup, and pure cranberry juice. It’s the most festive non-alcoholic drink to serve at all of your holiday parties.
The holidays in a glass!
Bring a little life to your cocktail glass with this Cranberry Ginger Mocktail. The layers of wintery flavors make it the best non-alcoholic accompaniment to any Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve party!
Every sip of this cranberry mocktail tastes just like the holidays. Spiced with muddled ginger, a warming homemade cinnamon simple syrup, cranberry juice, and fresh lime, you’ll feel warm and refreshed by the time you reach the bottom of the glass. There’s no chance you’ll be missing the booze!
This recipe makes enough for 2 servings, but you can easily double or triple it when it’s your turn to host the get-together. Don’t forget the festive snacks, like Pear and Goat Cheese Tarts and Hot Artichoke Dip to really get the party going!
What is a mocktail?
Mocktails are non-alcoholic drinks that are made using all of the same ingredients and equipment as craft cocktails (minus the alcohol). Almost any cocktail recipe can be made into a mocktail, like this Pineapple Ginger Beer Mocktail that’s even more refreshing than a classic Moscow Mule.
All you have to do is use not-so-boozy ingredients like juice, fruit, aromatics, sodas, and homemade syrups to mimic the spirit-forward flavors. Each sip is fun, flavorful, and way more exciting to drink than soda and water.
Why should you serve mocktails around the holidays?
Yes, mocktails are just as delicious as cocktails, but that isn’t the only reason you should whip them up around the holidays.
It’s important to serve the designated drivers or friends who aren’t drinking alcohol something more exciting than soda or water. The wide range of refreshing and intricate flavors are sure to delight your guests!
Cranberry mocktail ingredients
You'll find all of the flavors needed to capture the special feeling of the holidays in this mocktail:
The secret to the robust flavors in this mocktail comes from fresh ginger. Muddling the ginger in a cocktail shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients ensures the strong and spicy flavors are put right on display.
Feel free to play around with the amount you use in the recipe. Use the full tablespoon if you love the spiciness or use a little less if it’s too much for you.
Never peeled ginger before? This tutorial gives you all the tips you need!
Cranberries are an essential holiday ingredient. Great for a Thanksgiving side dish, topping on savory brie crostinis, or mixing into shortbread cookie dough, their tart flavors are perfect for pairing with herbs, citrus, and warm seasonings all winter long.
Do your best to find unsweetened cranberry juice not from concentrate for this cranberry juice mocktail. Not only does it have great cranberry flavors and makes the drink super festive, but it doesn’t contain any added sugar and won’t make the drink taste overly sweet.
Cinnamon simple syrup
When you really want to infuse deep, holiday flavors into your drinks, make sure you always have a batch of this custom cinnamon simple syrup on hand. It’s really easy to make! All you need is white sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks.
No cinnamon sticks at home? You can make the mocktail using plain simple syrup, but the flavors won’t be as deep.
The bright acidity in fresh lime juice is just what you need to cut through the tart cranberry and spicy ginger! If you don’t have fresh limes at home, you can use bottled juice instead. Lemon juice should also work well as a replacement.
I love the sweet and subtle ginger flavors in ginger ale. Unlike strongly flavored and fermented ginger beer, mild ginger ale will balance the mocktail instead of making it taste overly sweet or spicy.
How to make a cranberry ginger mocktail
Once your homemade syrup is ready and the fresh ginger is muddled, this tasty holiday drink is ready to be put together:
Step 1: Make the cinnamon simple syrup and let it cool.
Step 2: Muddle the ginger in a cocktail shaker.
Step 3: Add the cranberry juice, cinnamon simple syrup, and lime juice to the shaker.
Step 4: Add ice and shake like crazy!
Step 5: Strain into two glasses filled with ice.
Step 6: Top off each glass with ginger ale.
Customize your mocktail
Impress your guests or put your own special spin on this mocktail recipe! The customizations are practically endless:
- Bubbles: Top each glass with sparkling water for extra fizz.
- Garnish: Serve your mocktail with frozen cranberries, lime wedges, or a sprig of rosemary.
- Salt or sugarr the rim: For an extra special presentation, run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass and dip it in a plate of kosher salt mixed with lime zest or some granulated sugar.
- Alcohol: You can add up to 1 ounce of vodka, gin, or white rum per glass to transform this mocktail into a cranberry ginger ale cocktail.
Make ahead tips
If you’re looking to save time, make the cinnamon simple syrup 1 week before the party. Simply store the cooled batch in a sealed jar in the fridge until you’re ready to add it to the mocktail.
Serving a crowd? Instead of spending all of your time in the kitchen, mix all of the ingredients (except the ginger ale) together in a pitcher. Keep it in the fridge overnight, then top with ginger ale right before serving.
🎉 It's time to cook! 🎉
Alright, friend! It's your turn to make this delish recipe for your next get-together.
When you do, please leave a comment below so we can hear what you think!
Cranberry Ginger Mocktail
Cinnamon Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 1.5 ounces cinnamon simple syrup
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 8 ounces ginger ale
Cinnamon Simple Syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow the cinnamon sticks to steep in the sugar water for 30 minutes.
- Remove and discard the cinnamon sticks and allow the cinnamon simple syrup to cool completely before using. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Place ginger into a cocktail shaker and muddle well.
- Add cranberry juice, cinnamon simple syrup, and lime juice.
- Fill with ice and shake vigorously.
- Evenly divide between two ice-filled glasses.
- Top each glass with four ounces ginger ale and stir.
- Garnish with limes and enjoy!
Big thanks to our guest photographer!
These gorgeous photos in this post were contributed by our friend Amy of A Red Spatula!
She creates healthier recipes with a focus on the inclusion of whole grains. Check out her Whole Wheat Pretzels, they look delish!