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Cranberry Margaritas

Cranberry Margaritas

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Are you still stuffed? Or maybe you’re enjoying leftovers after a day of shopping? Eric and I skipped the malls and spent the morning at our local children’s museum with Clara and then enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite local coffee shops. Now we’re back to working on our kitchen renovation (psst -I’ve got cabinets to show you next week!).

Since we didn’t travel to see family yesterday, we had a lot of time to hang out and work on the kitchen make margaritas while Clara napped. Cranberries are everywhere this time of year, and I figured it only made sense to put them in a drink. You may even have some  left in your fridge after Thanksgiving, and this is the perfect way to use them. A drink like this is festive all the way through New Year’s, so you’ve got plenty of time to test out a batch before making it for your next holiday gathering.

These margaritas have a quick cranberry jam as their base. It can be made ahead of time, and you can even make a double batch so there’s plenty to go around. Like my favorite cranberry sauce, this recipe uses orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice. Add in some lime juice and tequila, and you’ve got a simple and stunning cocktail that everyone is sure to love.

Cranberry Margaritas

Cranberry Margaritas

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 cocktails

Cranberry Margaritas

The original recipe called for cooking the jam for 30-40 minutes. I made this recipe twice and found my cranberries were jam-like after only 14-15 minutes. Because stoves can vary, keep an eye on yours and base your cooking time on how the jam looks.


For the cranberry jam:
¾ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
For the drinks:
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch each of cinnamon and white pepper, optional
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
4 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
6 ounces tequila


Place the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and jammy. Remove from heat and mix in the orange zest. Allow to cool completely. Jam can be made up to 5 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Mix salt, sugar, cinnamon and white pepper (if using) together on a small plate. Rub the rims of 4 Old Fashioned glasses with a lime wedge. Dip rims in salt mixture and fill glasses with ice.

or each cocktail, combine ½ ounce lime juice, 1 ounce orange juice, 1½ ounces tequila, and 2 tablespoons of cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Cover and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into prepared glass.


  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These are sooo perfect for the holidays. Love!

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    This definitely looks like a party in a cup!