Serve up a Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail this New Year’s Eve! This cranberry juice cocktail features tart unsweetened cranberry juice and spicy ginger beer, is a flavorful mixed drink to serve to individuals or a crowd. You can also swap ginger beer for ginger ale, to make a mocktail for the kids. With options to make this drink as tasty as possible, it’s perfect for both adults and children!
In true Erin fashion, I never even heard of a mocktail until I was pregnant with our first child. One of my friends asked me what I planned to drink when I went out for dinner and drinks that evening, and I told her, “Water. Obviously. Or maybe a Coke?”
“Why not ask the bartender to make you a mocktail?” And thus, my mocktail obsession was born!
Cranberry Juice Cocktail
While I love a good booze-infused drink (hello, my top 10 recipes are basically all drinks), there’s something nice about having a non-alcoholic mixed drink, too.
And for New Year’s festivities this year, I wanted to offer a drink that everyone can enjoy!
That’s why I’m giving you two options with this post. You can make it a Cocktail or a Mocktail!
Plus, I wanted to feature some of my favorite seasonal flavors.
Cranberry Mocktail Recipe
This drink calls for just two ingredients—unsweetened cranberry juice (NOT cranberry cocktail!) and ginger beer.
You can add a little bit of apple juice or orange juice, too, if the cranberry is too tart or the ginger beer is too punchy.
It’s versatile, and when served with a sugared orange rim, this drink is absolutely fabulous for a celebration!
What is a mocktail?
A nonalcoholic mixed drink!
Basically, it’s a drink that calls for a few ingredients that are mixed together. If you were to add a shot of booze, it would be considered a cocktail. Since you leave the alcohol out of it, it will be a mocktail.
How do you make a Sparkling Cranberry Juice Cocktail?
Sugar the rim of your glass by running an orange wedge around the rim, and dip it in orange sugar. Once the rim is ready, pour the unsweetened cranberry juice with ginger beer into the glass and stir.
Add some fresh cranberries for garnish, and enjoy immediately!
What is ginger beer?
A naturally sweetened, carbonated, naturally fermented beverage. This brewed drink is considered non-alcoholic because their alcohol content is so low. It has .05% alcohol content. (Ginger beer is similar to a kombucha with the fermenting and suuuuuuper low alcohol content.)
When poured into a glass, ginger beer bubbles and fizzes like a beer would.
Now, many people would say if you add Ginger Beer to this cocktail it would be non-alcoholic, but I don’t feel comfortable serving my kids Ginger Beer so I just swap it to Ginger Ale and serve them that blend!
Plus, Ginger Beer has to much kick for their taste-buds so they like this version better!
It’s really up to you if you swap the Ginger Beer for Ginger Ale in your Mocktail version or not!
What is the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale?
Ginger beer has been brewed and fermented. Because of the way it is made, the ginger flavor is robust.
Ginger ale is carbonated water flavored with ginger. It’s generally lighter in color and has a much mellower flavor.
How do you make this Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail for kids?
You can serve kids this cranberry mocktail as it is, though I’d advise taste testing it first.
Depending on the ginger beer you use, it could be spicier and maybe a little too punchy for a child. (For example, we used Sprouts branded ginger beer in our tester batches, and mixed the final photo versions with Fever Tree. The Sprouts ginger beer is milder, while the Fever Tree has more heat.)
If your ginger beer is strong, consider adding some orange or apple juice to this sparkling mocktail. Both juices will mellow the ginger and add a little sweetness to balance out the tart cranberry juice.
You could also swap the ginger beer for ginger ale if serving kids.
Our 3.5-year-old wants you to know she enjoyed hers with a splash of apple juice.
What do I need to make a Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail?
- Sharp knife to slice the orange wedges
- Zester, for the orange zest
- Jigger or liquid measure
- Cocktail glasses
What are some other drinks I can serve for a New Year’s Eve gathering?
Now who’s ready to mix up one of these gorgeous mixed drinks?
Scroll on down to learn how easy and effervescent this cocktail is for any kind of wintertime celebration.
Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail
- 2 oz. cranberry juice (unsweetened)
- 4 oz. ginger beer
- Fresh cranberries , for garnish
Orange Sugar (Enough for FOUR Drinks)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- On a small plate, combine the sugar with the orange zest. Stir them together until combined, and set aside.
- Slice an orange with a sharp knife, and cut into a wedge.
- Run the wedge around the rim of your glass. Make sure the entire rim is damp, as the orange sugar won’t stick if it’s not.
- Dip the rim into the orange sugar on the plate, moving the glass until all parts are coated.
- Using a jigger or a liquid measuring cup, measure out the cranberry juice and pour into the glass.
- Pour the ginger beer on top of the cranberry juice, and stir.
- Garnish with fresh cranberries, and enjoy immediately!