Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail

This is my favorite cocktail from the beginning of Fall through the Holidays. So pretty and festive and with fantastic seasonal flavors, the Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail does not disappoint!

A duo of Cocktails garnished with Cranberries and Mint.

I spied the Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail that inspired me to make this cocktail in Bon Appetit magazine when I received their October 2011 issue in September of that year.

Though clearly a fall cocktail, at that time we were having a hot streak and the notion of fall or cranberries seemed in the distant future.

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Fast forward and suddenly 95 degrees would require that we combine our daytime and nighttime temperatures and add some to boot! We had two back to back big snowfalls in Denver and nothing says fall quite like leaves and snow falling at the same time!


I can’t deny I have a strong proclivity to almost anything cranberry. Maybe it was the year I discovered them after a childhood of associating cranberry sauce with a cylindrical form with ring marks embedded in the shape. I HATED that stuff; ergo I hated all things cranberry by association.

Luckily I politely tried some fresh cranberry sauce at a friends once; everything changed and now this time each season I look forward to seeing what can be done with these pretties.

This cocktail is not just pretty though. While I do love the festive look that can take us from the day after Halloween all the way to the end of the year, it’s the combination of ingredients that make it spectacular.

Cranberry, citrus, ginger ale and, or course, gin all meld together to offer a crisp, not too sweet and altogether refreshing cocktail.

I freely admit I’m a Costco-aholic and buying a bag of cranberries from there means I have to design several uses. I often have them steeping in a pot on the stove with some cinnamon and orange zest; I love having my home scented for the holidays with something other than a room spray.

I also love to decorate my holiday tables with them in bowls of water with floating candles. They float and surround the candles and it makes for a natural and beautiful table decoration.

Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail in a cut crystal glass garnished with Cranberries and Mint.

But you really don’t care about my holiday decor, right? It’s all about the beverage! Beyond the berries, the lemons and orange slices, I think it’s important to use a good quality gin as well as a quality ginger ale.

I used Bombay Sapphire gin, it’s my go to gin for cocktails and I’ve also become hooked on ginger beer which I’ve been getting at World Market; a very ginger ale it is!

Ginger beer has become so popular that it is showing up in more and more supermarkets too…it’s worth it if you can find it.

The original recipe called for adding sherry but I substituted with ginger ale and it’s perfect…just that little bit of fizz adds a welcome element. But you know what’s important that is probably not often considered for cocktail success? Ice.

When my ice maker went on the fritz; I recalled seeing that the local Sonic drive-in sold ice. I bought some to use until my ice maker was repaired and now I can’t stop. I just love the small round pellets that are so crunch-able. For this cocktail that requires you mound some ice on top, it’s especially perfect!

No Sonic? No problem but for best effect; try to find an ice that is prettier than the moon shaped ones from your freezer; the look really can make the drink! Crushing freezer ice would be preferable to the whole moon cube too.

I hope you’ll join me and make this Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail during the Fall and holiday season; it’s not just a pretty face, it’s perfectly delicious too…cheers!

Want more festive cocktail ideas? I’ve got them!

PIN IT! ‘Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail’

Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail in Lowball Glass Garnished with Cranberries and Mint
Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail in a cut crystal glass garnished with Cranberries and Mint.
Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail

The Cranberry Gin Fizz is a gorgeous cocktail for the holidays and beyond!
4.70 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Cocktails, Fruits
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Cocktails
Calories 399 kcal


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • ½ orange cut into slices
  • 1 ½ cups gin Beefeater or Tangueray suggested
  • 1 cup ginger beer or ginger ale


  • Candied Cranberries
  • 4 mint sprigs


  • Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; measure one cup of syrup, reserve and refrigerate any extra for another use.
  • Heat the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst. Remove from heat and let cool completely in the cranberry syrup.
  • Reserve 3 of the candied cranberries per cocktail for garnish and set aside.
  • Place 2 Tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 Tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.
  • Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.
  • Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
  • Strain into a medium pitcher.
  • Fill 4 glasses with crushed ice and 1/4 cup ginger beer or ginger ale.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then pour half the cranberry mixture into the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds, strain liquid into two glasses. Repeat.
  • Mound additional ice on top of each glass and garnish with the candied cranberries and a mint sprig


Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail
Serving Size
1 Cocktail
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword christmas, cocktails, cranberry, gin fizz, holiday, thanksgiving
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  1. Hi,
    I’m in the middle of making this, but the directions are unclear to me. After simmering the cranberries in the simple syrup, the recipe says to add 2 tbl of the cranberries and 6 tbl of the cranberry liquid in with the sliced lemons and oranges to be muddied. That leaves a fair amount of simple syrup and cranberries. Are they discarded or are they added back into the recipe at a later point?



  2. 5 stars
    This Cranberry Gin Fizz Cocktail seems super amazing and delicious . Super excited to try this one , thanks for sharing this one with us , will love to try this one.

    1. Easily one of the most favorite recipes on this blog during the winter holidays…it’s so pretty and timely for the season. I don’t make it other times…no cranberries!

  3. from it’s looks i can tell that this drinks really makes everyone who see it gonna crazy if they couldn’t taste it, LOL. thanks for the recipe by the way !

  4. Has anyone tried this without the gin and with a quality ginger “beer” for a more robust ginger flavor? We have forsworn alcohol for the holidays, but are looking for good drinks to incorporate in our celebration.
    Thanks for any input.

    I should have spent some time reading the 115 comments before I leaped. All good inputs.

  5. Has anyone tried this without the gin and with a quality ginger “beer” for a more robust ginger flavor? We have forsworn alcohol for the holidays, but are looking for good drinks to incorporate in our celebration.
    Thanks for any input.

    1. I have mentioned to someone wanting a non alcohol version that they could just up the ginger ale but the ginger beer is a great idea Jerry; I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would be perfect.

  6. This looks yummy! I would love to try it for Thanksgiving but serve it pitcher style. Ice bucket on the side. Would it be alright to double the recipe, prep an hour before company arrives, then let sit for company to fix at their leisure? Or does it need to be served immediately?

    1. I would suggest that you can do exactly as you suggested except for one thing; if you can hold off on adding the ginger ale until your company is due to arrive it would be best. It’s what provides the carbonation (the fizz in the name!) and I’m afraid it might go flat if it were sitting out for too long. Have everything else prepped and chilled and then add the ginger ale as late as possible and I think it would be great. It’s a great drink…so hope you and your company enjoy it!

    1. I would make it simple and just eliminate it and add a bit more ginger ale. If you didn’t want the additional ginger element; then maybe a bit of either cranberry juice or some club soda? I think any of those would make it a great mocktail! Let me know if you do something and if you like the results, OK?

    1. We just love it; not a heavy and overly boozy cocktail, it sings with the combination of the cranberry and ginger ale and it’s just the perfect look. Hope you love it too…you can comment again!!

  7. Hi, love your drink idea and will definately be trying this on Christmas day.
    I included it in my blog today, with credit to you ofcourse. Hope that is ok

  8. Just pinned this beautiful cocktail and the photography is great! Are the glasses yours and if so do you recall were you purchased them? Just perfect!

    1. Suzie, the glasses are mine but were a gift almost 30 years ago…so I have no idea where they came from! They are a favorite I won’t deny and sure wish I could help. The cocktail is really good too…and as you can see, so perfect for a holiday cocktail. Enjoy!

    1. One of those photos that turned out just as I had hoped…so thanks! An all time favorite on the blog too. I LOVE cranberries so much; am thinking now what to do for this season. There will be sugared cranberries for a garnish…that is the one thing I do know!

  9. Not sure if anyone else has suggested it yet, but since you live in the Denver area, try Cap Rock gin. It’s the best gin I’ve had and local (as well as organic) to boot!

  10. So – I must have missed this one! Once again I’ll face the problem of no fresh or frozen cranberries here in the Wide Brown Land, but I still think I can work this for Christmas. Pinning now, thanks!

  11. We posted your festive drink and your BLOG on our website. I hope it brings you new followings to your website that we think is fabulous!!! have a Merry Christmas!!
    Terra of

  12. I made these for a family Christmas celebration. I’m always in charge of bringing a cocktail, and these were a huge hit!..Sonic ice and all! I did sub vodka for gin as I’m not a gin drinker and didn’t want to have any left over. But it turns out that we loved these so much that I wouldn’t have had to worry about that b/c in the end we ran out of vodka. I’m happy to say that they looked just as lovely as in your pictures.

    1. So glad you loved the cocktail too and it was such a success for you. Vodka…absolutely! Or guess I should say Absolut!

  13. What kind of ice maker do you have to make that kind of ice? I have been looking for a ‘crushed’ ice maker- but the size you have in the pictures looks perfect. Love the recipe and the site- thanks!

    1. Julie, I have no idea what kind it is because mine is broken and I have become totally addicted to ice from the local Sonic Drive In; they sell their ice by the bag and I love it so much I’ve not considered getting my ice maker repaired. They are right next to the bank I use for business so very convenient to pick up a bag every week. I should probably get my icemaker fixed but not sure if that is smart because I know I’ll still want an ice bin filled with these perfect cubes!

    2. I think I sent you a personal response but thought I would answer here too! I go to Sonic Drive In for my ice. My ice maker broke, I saw they sold bags of ice and now I don’t want to get it repaired cause I love their ice better than what my ice maker produces. So for me? Sonic it is.

  14. This was so much sticky work, and not at all worth it. It was too sweet, which was worsened by the ginger ale, and the cranberry flavor lost its tartness to the sugary syrup. We switched from ginger ale to club soda to kick a bit of the sweetness, but eventually were adding cranberry juice to get some of the tartness back. This really begged for a gingery kick– something more like a ginger syrup.

    Ounce measurements are much more useful to drink recipes, but that’s mainly the fault of the Bon Appetit original.

    1. I didn’t experience that at all but it was important to use a good gingery ale which I suggested. Most grocery brands are almost like 7-up and way too sweet. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    1. Leave out all alcohol or need a substitute for the gin? If subbing the gin, vodka would also be good. If leaving out entirely then I would just add a bit more ginger ale to the other ingredients.

  15. Tried this recipe last night and it is delicious!!! Not too sweet and has a great taste. But watch out…the flavors disguise the alcohol so enjoy slowly! 😉 I will definitely be making this again.

    1. You’re in luck because I just recently purchased those coasters online through Pottery Barn. They have a whole line of antique looking serverware; I got these, an ice scoop and a set of salt and pepper shakers.

  16. Hi,
    I have a question: Would it taste okay if I were to let the gin and cranberry mixture steep over night in my fridge? I am trying to make this drink in advance.

    1. So sorry I got to this late…hope you did it because I think everything is doable ahead of time except for adding the ginger ale. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

  17. This drink looks divine! Would it be terrible to replace the gin with vodka? Has anyone tried that? I will be making this for Thanksgiving!

    1. I would have no problem switching those two out Maria; I haven’t done it but would if I didn’t have gin in the house.

  18. Hello,
    I would like – maybe – to give your recipie with picture on my blog…Is it Ok for you ?
    If yes could you you tell me the photo credit/name of photographer of your Cranberry Ginger Fiiz Cocktail ?
    Tahnk you and happy sunday ! Martine;

  19. Wow! I love this. It is perfect for my Christmas party coming up, but I made a mini batch today and loved it. Thank you. I have to ask, how do you get that kind of ice? It looks like the ice from some restaurants, but is it possible to have at home, too? (Thanks in advance.)

    I found you from Pinterest, but I have bookmarked your site and will be back frequently!

    1. They really are good aren’t they Lara…not just a pretty face is right huh?

      Funny story. My ice maker went on the fritz so I started buying bags of ice from Sonic; they sell them for about $2/bag. I love it so much I never got the icemaker fixed. So if you have a Sonic drivein in your neck of the woods; that’s their ice. One caution? It’s little and starts to melt fast so I keep a cooler in my car for my ice runs. Regular ice would never present so well but if you are stuck with it I just wouldn’t pile any up on top I guess?

      1. THANK YOU ever so much. There is a Sonic not too far from here but getting ice will make it a priority to get there.
        Thanks again and all the very best to you.

    1. Thanks Jen. I’m in the process of making cranberry liqueur right now. If you love cranberry you should try it; so good and a bonus? So pretty too.

    1. Aw Sylvie, a woman after my own heart….it is horrid stuff isn’t it. I’m trying to think but just can’t recall the brand they said is most often bought…but I’ve been using Boylan and am happy with it; it’s certainly far beyond the grocery store brands; that’s all I know. Would certainly recommend it’s worth your trying.

  20. Hi! Gorgeous drink. Someone is taking your content – thought you might like to know. Not this post & there may be others but this is your picture & recipe reposted from one of your soups.

    You can report them by clicking on “Report Page” on the lower left of their main wall, or by filling in this page: Don’t bother trying to reason with her, she doesn’t think she is doing anything wrong.

    1. Doggone it…I could use one now too but am already ensconced in my bedroom. The comfort of being cozy tonight wins!

  21. Love Friday and cocktails. Heck, all weekend. This looks amazing, Barb. I love seasonal drinks and this looks like it tastes incredible. Perfect for the holidays! Beautiful.

    1. Thanks much Mike; I’ve come to really enjoy these posts; nice that there is no limit to cocktails to be made. Or to be drunk. 🙂

  22. It is definitely all about the beverage with this cocktail, Barb. This is perfect for the holidays. I have a strong affinity for all-things cranberry and ginger, so this sounds so good to me.

    1. Then you would love this cocktail Dara. The original recipe called for sherry and that didn’t even sound good; it’s perfect with ginger ale.

    1. Thanks Heather…sometimes they come together and sometimes I need a drink when I’m done…this was nice. I had both. 🙂

  23. That looks heavenly… Another use for fresh cranberries… Dip them (quickly) in melted white chocolate/almond bark or dark chocolate… Tart and sweet and crisp little bite… Yummy.. They are a staple within my cookie plates and given in a little tin within a gift basket… 😀

    1. On my…I know I’ll love these and you are so right…all of my holiday gifts are homemade goodies; these would be a perfect addition. Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much Shelby; compliments on my photos mean the world to me. I’m a cook who is trying to learn this whole photography business. Completely self taught, it’s a long road so when I get a good review; well, you’ve made my day!

  24. Have I told you that I love your blog? I really do. I love anyone who loves a good cocktail. I aspire to post more cocktails on my blog, but I find that I drink them before I photograph them. Oh well? In any case, this looks season and perfect. I will be drinking this beverage shortly…I am so glad you shared!

    1. Well, you have not so thank you so much Lindsay…you’ve made my day! When you do get one made, be sure to add it to my blog; I post a cocktail and that link tool every Friday; you can add a cocktail or an appetizer when you have one. Old or new I don’t care!

    1. You are too cute. I actually have some tall cylindrical glass holders. Three different sizes. I put cranberries in each one with water and a floating round candle and then tie a decorative bow around each. That the cranberries float is what makes it so pretty and that they are bornn into water is nice too…they stay for quite awhile. I just rinse them off and put in fresh water every couple of days. That’s my centerpiece!

    1. Thanks…I admit I’ve become somewhat of a cranberryaholic too. I just can’t get enough of them and am sad when the season is over.

    1. Those little candied berries for garnish…they are most definitely a treat. I’m making cranberry liqueur now too; talk about great berries…the chopped berries that are strained out are NOT pitched…they are soooo good, those little vodka soaked gems.

    1. You must try making your own cranberry sauce too Carrie; it’s so easy and so beyond better than anything you can buy.

    1. I know it would. You can tell the gin is there but it’s so subtle, I would serve this ‘virgin’ in a heartbeat and it would still be great.

  25. Ron was just getting ready to take Max for a walk and I had to call him over to look at the picture of your cocktail. We both agree it is absolutely stunning! What a lovely holiday drink and so pretty and full of good cheer (no pun intended, I meant the look of it makes me smile).

    By the way, I love hearing about your holiday decorations and the floating candles with cranberries is a new and lovely idea I just may use 😉

    1. Been there…mine are brewing now; easiest doggone thing in the world AND I love the leftover vodka soaked cranberries.

    1. Thanks Kristina…you know how sometimes you know yourself that one is good? I just loved the results of this effort too; it so catches how this cocktail tastes!

    1. Well, glad to have you come visit Jenny. I do a new cocktail every Friday; so hope you’ll come back! Cheers.

  26. This is definitely a cocktail that I would enjoy!! Too funny about the ice – at work we have an ice maker that makes those small pellets and despite having rooms of appliances guess which one gets the most attention? The Ice Maker!!!

    1. I have even gone so far as to calculate whether it’s worth getting the ice maker fixed. 18 year old fridge + $2/bag for ice X how many years the fridge will last = is the ice maker worth spending money on for repair? Yes, I love this ice a lot!

  27. I missed the past couple of Happy Hours and I’m not missing this one! YUMMY cocktail, and I love the colors. Picking up gin on my way home tonight from work ;D xoxo

  28. I was impatiently waiting for your Friday guzzle…as I had one to share with you! If I lived in cranberry country, I would be stirring this beauty now!! It’s gorgeous Barbara!! {I’ve added my orange zinger to the linky}

    1. Thanks so much for participating Deeba and don’t forget, appetizers are welcome too…hope to see you for our Friday cheer on a regular basis; wish we could clink glasses for real!

  29. What a beautiful cocktail. Such a gorgeous color. I used to always associate cranberries with bladder infections (I know, TMI, but you know me) so I wasn’t a big cranberry lover until I discovered fresh berries too. I have to admit that I always have the jellied stuff to slice and put on leftover turkey sandwiches. Childhood memories you know.

    1. Thank you my dear…we’ll have to share one together. I added a list of links to some of my fave cranberry recipes this morning…the sandwich with cranberry sauce is one of my favorites too.

    1. I added a couple of my favorite cranberry recipes to the post as an afterthought…and now I want everything…but I have to admit, the sandwich the day after Thanksgiving is what I crave way more than the turkey. Turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, sprouts and sunflower seeds. Wish I had one now!

  30. I’m with you completely on the cranberry thing. I also think frankly at this time of year everyone is dehydrated from over boozing and over caffienating and thus the refreshing zing of cranberries is very thirst quenching. I find pink to be a very appealing color in my food and drinks. There IS no happier looking cupcake than one with pink frosting, right? This drink just presents itself as a new holiday season best friend. Someone who will happily spend cocktail hour with you every night and you’ll never tire of their company. Love your refreshing addition of ginger ale. Can’t ever go wrong with that! Love this.

    1. I’m hearing people who are committed to the canned stuff..sort of makes me cringe just thinking about it but for me it’s all texture. I’ve never much cared for jello…even if you add booze to it! This was most definitely a winner. And those little candied berries for garnish. Beyond edible.

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