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7 cranberry cocktails to shake up the festive season

cranberry orange whisky sour cocktail Ballantine's

What’s Christmas without cranberries? A bit less fruity and definitely not as sweet. Not something we’re keen for. 

Cranberry is a staple ingredient for any drinks cabinet. It’s bittersweet, berry taste pairs wonderfully with most flavours. And the rich, red liquid adds extra punch to a festive serve. 

Here’s our favourite cranberry cocktails for your Christmas drinking. 

How to use cranberry in cocktails

There’s more than one way to get the flavour of cranberry into cocktail hour. The easiest is by using cranberry juice which either comes pure and fresh with a very bitter taste, or mixed with sweetener to create a ready to drink mix. 

The best cranberry juice for cocktails is usually a sweetened blend unless you’re after a more tart flavour. If you wanna go all out you can also make your own by blitzing fresh cranberries with water. Puree until smooth, then strain to collect the liquid.

Juice aside, you can also add a dash of cranberry syrup to get an even sweeter taste. This can be bought ready made or simmered on the stove with orange peel, berries, water and sugar. You can also experiment with cranberry liqueur for extra punch. And let’s not forget the garnish. Fresh cranberries take winter cocktails up a notch. Pop a few in a glass before serving or pour into a punch bowl with rosemary, orange or cinnamon sticks. For extra sweetness, steep the berries in sugar syrup before rolling in sugar to make a sweet and sour edible cocktail garnish.

Cranberry cocktail recipes

From seriously festive to seriously refreshing, here’s the best ways to serve up your cranberry cocktails this season.

Whisky Christmas Cocktail

Move over Eggnog, see you later mulled wine… Bring in the festive season with a sweet and spicy whisky cocktail. We call it the Ballantine’s Christmas Cocktail, but it tastes just as good 365 days of the year.


Christmas Cranberry Cocktail

Forget mulled wine. Don’t go searching for eggnog. This whisky Christmas cocktail is where the good times are. It takes some time to make, but it’s time well spent. You even get a spiced pear syrup out of it to pour on your pudding. Serve it hot straight from the stove or ice it up for a cooler sip.

Berry Pitcher

Please your party crowd with this easy to make Berry Pitcher. It’s got enough fruity flavours to see you through summer and winter, the ultimate year round drink. Whisky, berry liqueur and lemon mix with elderflower and cranberry juice to create a sweet and satisfying mix. Topped with apple and red berries.

Stay Berry Pitcher

The pitcher perfect berry goodness, with Ballatine’s Finest, apple slices, red berries, lemon juice, Crème de Mûre, Elderflower cordial, Cranberry juice, and topped with Soda water.


Whisky Cranberry Tonic

If you’re after a simple serve that’ll really quench your thirst, this remix is for you. First we took a G&T and made it a Whisky Tonic. Then we added a dash of cranberry to make it extra bittersweet. It’s a super easy to make recipe with all the flavours of drink that’s been crafted to perfection.

Cranberry Mule

Put a tart twist on the classic Whisky Mule to amplify those winter flavours. There’s no rules on how to make it. But our favourite way is with Ballantine’s Finest, ginger beer and a squeeze of fresh lime. Then it’s time to add in the cranberry. Go equal parts with ginger or swap it out completely to make it as sweet and spicy as you like.

Cranberry Orange Whisky Sour

This wintery Cranberry Orange Whisky Sour featuring Ballantine’s Finest is the perfect complement to your holiday menu.


Cranberry Orange Whisky Sour

Put a winter spin on a classic Whisky Sour with this cranberry twist. You’re gonna need OJ, CJ and a splash of ginger beer to get those festive flavours flowing. Mixed with Ballantine’s Finest for a smooth, whisky finish. Serve up this Cranberry Orange Whisky Sour next time you’re hosting.

Cranberry and Lime

This one’s a refreshing mixer we love to drink year round. For summer sessions and sparkling winter nights. The Cranberry and Lime is simple yet seriously good, mixed with Ballantine’s Finest to get that sweet, smooth warmth of scotch. Our version uses our limited Queen edition, inspired by the legendary band as part of Ballantine’s True Music Icons.

The Gaga

You’ve yet to have your finest hour till you’ve tasted Gaga, our Queen x Ballantine’s inspired whisky sour cocktail.


Whisky Cosmopolitan

The Cosmo is a classic. Sweet, pink and super easy to make. There’s a reason this cocktail came to fame and became the drink of the 90s. But there’s no right way to make a Cosmopolitan. Here at Ballantine’s we use our deliciously smooth scotch whisky to add an extra level of warmth to this epic serve. Simply shake with lime, cranberry and orange liqueur over ice.

Find more ways to mix up Ballantine’s with our whisky cocktail recipes. There’s everything from the best cherry flavoured cocktails to our favourite fruity whisky drinks. Plus a bunch of festive whisky recipes for Christmas drinking.

10 best festive whisky cocktails to drink in December

Put the eggnog aside, we’ve got the best Christmas whisky cocktails for you to sip this winter. From ice cream shakes to cranberry mixers – enjoy!

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8 cinnamon and ginger whisky drinks to spice up your winter cocktails

Fan of spice? So are we. Here are our favourite whisky drinks, each with cinnamon or ginger as a headline ingredient.

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