Cranberry Orange Martinis

At Christmastime every year, I like to try out a few new cocktail recipes. Whether it’s a fresh take on a hot toddy, keeping it classic with a mulled wine, or creating a signature martini, it adds a touch of intention to any holiday gathering. This cocktail is crisp and fresh, highlighting an often forgotten seasonal flavor of winter- citrus.

Keep reading for the full recipe after the jump!

Cranberry Orange Martini

yield: one martini


  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 2 C fresh cranberries, extra for garnish
  • Juice of one and a half oranges
  • 1 C ice
  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • Colored sugar for rim
  • Bunch of fresh rosemary


Begin by making a fresh cranberry simple syrup. In a saucepan, add water and sugar. Over medium high heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries. Bring to boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until cranberries pop and the syrup coats the back of the spoon, approximately 10 minutes. Pour syrup into a sieve and strain.

Meanwhile, juice oranges. Set to the side.

Fill a saucer with water. Dip the rim of the martini glass in water and then coat with colored sugar. I opted for red as it was fitting for the season. To make the cranberry stirring sticks take a sprig of rosemary and remove half of the leaves. Using the stem end, skewer a 3-4 cranberries on the stem.

To make the cocktail: add to the shaker gin, vermouth, 1/4 C cranberry simple syrup, orange juice, and ice. Shake until the cocktail is cold. (We had a flair competition in the kitchen while shaking. That coupled with some killer dance moves always makes it a bit more fun.) Pour into the martini glass. Add a few fresh cranberries and the stirrer to the glass for garnish and enjoy by the Christmas tree! 

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