Drinks/ Recipes/ Seasonal Ingredients/ Seasonal Recipes

Cranberry Margaritas

Happy {early} Thanksgiving!!

Are you thirsty? I sure hope so because I have the perfect last minute Thanksgiving cocktail to share today. It involves tequila, ergo you should make it.

Honestly, I loved making that cranberry sauce a few weeks ago so much that I decided to buy more berries and play a little. Have you noticed a strange pattern that I seem to always blend cranberries with booze? I don’t know what’s happening. It’s weird. Last time it was bourbon and today it’s tequila…I’m on a roll. These margaritas are sweet, tart and, well, pretty. Sorry {not sorry} — I can’t help it. I come from the school of belief that pink drinks taste better just because they’re pink.

Serve these as a pre-feast celebratory cocktail with friends and family. I loved them with the traditional salted glass rim, but you could also do a sugar rim if you felt so inclined. Either way, they’re a win.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I am so thankful for YOU!

Cranberry Margaritas

makes 2 large drinks {with extra cranberry syrup!}

Print this Recipe!


12 oz fresh cranberries, rinsed

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

4 oz tequila, divided

3 oz triple sec, divided

juice of 2 limes

lime wedges, salt and cranberries for garnish


First, make the cranberry syrup. Combine the cranberries, water and sugar in a medium saucepot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until berries burst and begin to break down. Immediately remove pot from heat and strain. Toss the berries and keep the syrup. Place syrup in the fridge for a couple hours or overnight to cool completely.

To make the margaritas, run the edge of a mason jar with a lime and then dip in salt. Add about a third cup of the cranberry syrup to a cocktail shaker (you be the judge according to how sweet you like your margaritas). Follow with the tequila, triple sec, lime juice and ice. Strain margarita into mason jar and finish with more ice.

**Cranberry syrup can be made up to a week ahead of time and kept in the fridge


active time — 10 minutes

total time —- 4 hours

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  • Reply
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    November 21, 2012 at 3:30 am

    You’re speaking my language here! I just got promoted and may need to make this drink to celebrate!

  • Reply
    Em (Wine and Butter)
    November 21, 2012 at 4:35 am

    Im about to come off antibiotics and need the perfect boozy drink to celebrate my return to drinking soon.. these are totally on the shortlist. YUM.

  • Reply
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    November 21, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Agreed on the point about pink drinks being superior to other kinds! I love cranberries as well and still have some frozen ones leftover from our Canadian Thanksgiving last month. This recipe sounds perfect for them. Happy early Thanksgiving Jenna!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 5:05 am

    Perfect! We are having our family thanksgiving dinner on Friday so my son wants to have a Mexican feast on thursday. This will be just the thing for our thanksgiving fiesta.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 5:06 am

    BTW- hate to just toss the cranberries. Any suggestions for using them?

    • Reply
      November 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      I was wondering the same thing…!

  • Reply
    Molly @ RDexposed
    November 21, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Cocktails are so pretty but they never do me any good. I’ll have to just admire your photos!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    November 21, 2012 at 5:34 am

    This looks even better than my spiked cranberry relish (just posted it yesterday if you’d like to check it out). 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Whitney @ Yoga Pancake
    November 21, 2012 at 5:40 am

    You’re my kind of gal! I am always a fan of making fun adult beverages 🙂 This looks so refreshing and your pictures are beautiful by the way.

  • Reply
    Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)
    November 21, 2012 at 5:49 am

    These will be perfect for Thanksgiving night! yum =)

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

    These look festive and delicious! Since cranberries have so many health benefits, these cocktails are justifiably healthy, right?

  • Reply
    Becky @ Olives n Wine
    November 21, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I agree with you – pink drinks are always better 😉 This looks like a lovely option for holiday parties! Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Yogi In Action
    November 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

    That looks absolutely delicious! I’m in Canada, so Thanksgiving has long passed, but I think I may need to make this drink anyways!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    November 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Cranberry syrup sounds like the perfect thing to keep around – it could be great in anything from tea to sauces to…margaritas 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristin @ FoodFash
    November 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I bet the salt with the tart/sweet of the fruit is wonderful. Happy early Thanksgiving to you!

  • Reply
    Cassie | Bake Your Day
    November 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    These are gorgeous! Must-make.

  • Reply
    Urban Wife
    November 21, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Um so I want one of these right now. It’s 5’oclock somewhere, right?

  • Reply
    Carrie @ The Cook's Palette
    November 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Perfect! Adding to the Thanksgiving menu now…

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Love the idea!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Jenna… your such a babe

  • Reply
    Caroline L.
    November 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Well if that isn’t the prettiest drink I’ve ever seen…

  • Reply
    November 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Hahaha! Pink totally makes things taste better! This is a fun idea for when I go home to my parents for Xmas. My dad loves Margaritas, and he also lies pink drinks, not lying.

  • Reply
    Life's a Bowl
    November 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Pink and tequila are two of my favorites, I couldn’t turn this down!

  • Reply
    amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    November 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Eep…pretty! Love the paper straws.

  • Reply
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    November 22, 2012 at 5:04 am

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  • Reply
    Moni @ {Moni Meals}
    November 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Jenna! These look so tasty and of course pretty!! XO Moni

  • Reply
    Kimberly @ Kimberly's Treats
    November 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

    These look amazing! Can’t go wrong with tequila and pink!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Such a pretty drink. I like pretty!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Oh this sounds like the perfect drink! I LOVE cranberry anything, and so making it into a margaritas can only be an excellent idea.

  • Reply
    Sarah (Shh..Fit Happens)
    November 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    YUM!! I love love love margs! What a great recipe, cant wait to try it

  • Reply
    The Food Hound
    November 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Um, pink drinks ARE the best!! I make a cranberry simple syrup for my candied cranberries every year and now I know what to do with the leftovers! Yay!

  • Reply
    November 27, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I love margaritas, and cranberries! This seems like a great excuse to drink a margarita around the holidays, as if one needs an excuse:) Can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
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    Grind and Brew
    December 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I guess it’s the time of year for cranberries. Try making a frozen margarita using cranberry sauce. Good stuff!

  • Reply
    December 17, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Just discovered your website and love it! This recipe sounds like heaven. By the way, I once had a margarita that had orange pulp in it (and possibly orange juice) and it was fantastic. Any ideas on how to make it? Thanks.

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