Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe

This Summer Cranberry Cocktail is a bright and refreshing drink perfect for hot summer days. The combination of tart cranberry juice, zesty grapefruit, and smooth vodka offers a vibrant flavor profile that is sure to revive your senses.

Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe
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Photos of Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe

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This recipe includes ocean spray 100% juice cranberry, which you can easily find in the juice aisle of your supermarket. However, the grapefruit peel might need a bit of searching. Look for plump and juicy grapefruits in the produce aisle. If fresh grapefruit is not available, pre-packaged grapefruit peels can often be found in the dried fruit section.

Essential Ingredients for the Summer Cranberry Cocktail

Ice: This will be used to cool the cocktail. Use cubed ice for a quicker chill.

Vodka: This adds a kick to the cocktail. Choose a brand you enjoy.

Ocean spray 100% juice cranberry: This is the key ingredient that gives the cocktail its unique, tangy flavor.

Grapefruit juice: This adds a citrusy flavor which balances the sweetness of the cranberry juice.

Grapefruit peel: This is used as a garnish and also releases a refreshing, citrusy aroma.

One reader, Kimmy Graber says:

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This summer cranberry cocktail recipe is a game-changer! The blend of cranberry and grapefruit juice creates a refreshing and tangy flavor. It's the perfect drink for a hot summer day. The grapefruit twist garnish adds a touch of elegance. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a delightful summer treat!

Kimmy Graber

Techniques Required for Crafting the Perfect Summer Drink

How to prepare the cocktail: A step-by-step guide on how to mix the ingredients and shake the cocktail.

How to garnish with grapefruit twist: Instructions on how to prepare the grapefruit peel twists and skewer them onto a toothpick for garnishing the cocktail.

How To Make Summer Cranberry Cocktail

Enjoy some drinks pool-side with our tangy cranberry cocktail! It’s made with only four ingredients and easy to make in a pinch.

Preparation: 2 minutes
Total: 2 minutes



  • 2cupsicecubed, divided
  • 3ozvodka
  • 2ozOcean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry
  • ozgrapefruit juice
  • 1grapefruit peelfor garnish


  1. Add 1 cup (140 grams) of cubed ice to a tall shaker.

  2. Add the vodka, Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds.

  3. Divide remaining 1 cup (140 grams) of ice between two rocks glasses and pour the cocktail evenly over the ice in the glasses.

  4. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the white pith from the peel of the grapefruit.

  5. Slice peel into four 1 1⁄2-inch (3.85 centimetre) strips and twist them into a corkscrew shape.

  6. Skewer two of the grapefruit peel twists onto a toothpick and repeat this process with the remaining two pieces of grapefruit peel.

  7. Place the grapefruit twist garnish on the cocktail, serve, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 120.53kcal
  • Fat: 0.06g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.01g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.66g
  • Fiber: 1.43g
  • Sugar: 3.08g
  • Protein: 0.23g
  • Sodium: 10.71mg
  • Calcium: 12.90mg
  • Potassium: 61.09mg
  • Iron: 0.13mg
  • Vitamin A: 1.27µg
  • Vitamin C: 13.21mg

Expert Tip for Elevating Your Summer Cranberry Cocktail

When making your summer cranberry cocktail, it's important to shake the cocktail vigorously. This not only ensures that the vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice are well combined, but it also helps to chill the cocktail quickly. The ice in the shaker creates friction and cools down the liquid, making your cocktail refreshingly cold. Remember, the key to a good cocktail is balance, so make sure to measure your ingredients accurately.

Time-Saving Tips for Making a Summer Cranberry Cocktail

Prep ahead: Prepare ingredients and garnishes in advance to streamline the cocktail-making process.

Use pre-chilled ingredients: Chill the vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice beforehand to avoid the need for additional ice and stirring.

Substitute Ingredients For Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe

  • ice - Substitute with frozen berries: Frozen berries can add a refreshing and fruity flavor while also chilling the cocktail.

  • vodka - Substitute with white rum: White rum can provide a slightly different flavor profile while still adding the necessary alcoholic kick to the cocktail.

  • ocean spray 100% juice cranberry - Substitute with pomegranate juice: Pomegranate juice can offer a similar tartness and color to the cocktail.

  • grapefruit juice - Substitute with orange juice: Orange juice can provide a sweeter and milder citrus flavor as a substitute for grapefruit juice.

  • grapefruit peel - Substitute with orange peel: Orange peel can offer a similar citrus aroma and flavor to garnish the cocktail.

Best Way to Present a Summer Cranberry Cocktail

  1. Elevate the cocktail glassware: Select elegant and sophisticated glassware to serve the summer cranberry cocktail. Opt for crystal or high-quality glassware to enhance the visual appeal and elevate the drinking experience.

  2. Garnish with precision: Carefully place the grapefruit twist garnish on the cocktail, ensuring it is visually appealing and adds a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  3. Incorporate a thematic backdrop: Set the stage for the cocktail by incorporating a thematic backdrop that complements the vibrant colors of the drink. Consider using elements such as fresh cranberries, grapefruit slices, or floral arrangements to enhance the overall presentation.

  4. Utilize ambient lighting: Create an inviting ambiance by using soft, warm lighting to showcase the cocktail. The right lighting can accentuate the colors of the drink and add a touch of elegance to the overall presentation.

  5. Emphasize symmetry and balance: When arranging the cocktail glasses, strive for symmetry and balance in their placement. This attention to detail will contribute to a visually pleasing presentation that reflects precision and artistry.

  6. Highlight the vibrant colors: Emphasize the rich hues of the cocktail by ensuring that the colors are prominently displayed. Consider using a neutral backdrop to make the vibrant red and pink tones of the drink stand out.

  7. Incorporate a touch of greenery: Add a subtle touch of greenery, such as a sprig of fresh rosemary or a small leaf, to the presentation to introduce a natural element and enhance the overall visual appeal.

  8. Consider the use of coasters or placemats: Place the cocktail glasses on stylish coasters or placemats that complement the overall theme and add a layer of sophistication to the presentation.

  9. Personalize with monogrammed cocktail picks: For an added touch of elegance, consider using monogrammed cocktail picks to garnish the drink. This personalized detail adds a sense of exclusivity and attention to detail.

  10. Emphasize the sensory experience: Prioritize the sensory experience by incorporating elements such as aromatic candles or subtle background music to create a multi-dimensional presentation that engages all the senses.

Essential Tools for Making a Delightful Summer Cocktail

  • Cutting board: A flat, sturdy surface used for cutting, chopping, and preparing ingredients.

  • Chef's knife: A versatile, all-purpose knife used for slicing, dicing, and chopping a variety of ingredients.

Interesting Trivia About Cranberries in Cocktails

The cranberry cocktail is a refreshing and tangy drink that is perfect for summer gatherings. It is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, thanks to the cranberry and grapefruit juice. This cocktail is not only delicious but also a healthier option compared to many other alcoholic beverages. So, you can enjoy your summer parties guilt-free with this delightful cranberry cocktail.

Is Making Summer Cranberry Cocktails at Home Cost-Effective?

This summer cranberry cocktail recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The use of vodka and ocean spray 100% juice cranberry may increase the overall cost, but the cocktail's refreshing and vibrant flavors make it a worthwhile indulgence. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20-$25. I rate this recipe a solid 8 for its taste and presentation, making it a delightful addition to any summer gathering.

Is This Cocktail Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

The summer cranberry cocktail recipe, while refreshing and enjoyable, may not be the healthiest choice. The main concerns are the high sugar content from the cranberry and grapefruit juices, as well as the alcohol content from the vodka. Consuming excessive amounts of added sugars and alcohol can lead to various health issues, such as weight gain, increased risk of chronic diseases, and liver problems.

However, there are some positive aspects to this cocktail. Cranberries and grapefruits are known for their high vitamin C content, which supports a healthy immune system. Additionally, the grapefruit peel garnish may provide some beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants and essential oils.

To make this cocktail healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of cranberry and grapefruit juice, or opt for lower-sugar versions of these juices
  • Use a sugar-free or low-calorie sweetener instead of regular sugar to balance the tartness of the juices
  • Increase the proportion of ice to dilute the cocktail and reduce the overall alcohol and sugar content per serving
  • Add a splash of sparkling water or soda water to further dilute the drink and add a refreshing fizz
  • Experiment with using fresh or frozen cranberries and grapefruit segments to add natural flavor and nutrients without relying solely on juices

Editor's Opinion on This Refreshing Summer Beverage

The summer cranberry cocktail recipe is a delightful blend of flavors, perfect for warm weather. The combination of vodka, cranberry juice, and grapefruit juice creates a refreshing and tangy cocktail. The addition of grapefruit peel garnish adds a beautiful citrus aroma to the drink. The recipe is simple to follow and the presentation with the twisted grapefruit peel garnish adds a touch of elegance. It's a wonderful choice for entertaining or simply enjoying a relaxing evening. Cheers to a delightful summer cocktail!

Enhance Your Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Asparagus: Try grilling some asparagus with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Mango Salsa: Whip up a fresh and vibrant mango salsa with diced mango, red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice to complement the tangy flavors of the cocktail.
Coconut Rice: Prepare a fragrant coconut rice with coconut milk and a hint of lemongrass to add a tropical twist to your meal.
Watermelon Feta Salad: Create a refreshing watermelon feta salad with mint and a balsamic reduction for a sweet and savory accompaniment to the cocktail.

Refreshing Alternatives to the Summer Cranberry Cocktail

Grilled Vegetable Platter: Create a colorful and flavorful grilled vegetable platter that is perfect for summer barbecues or gatherings. Mix and match your favorite vegetables and season with herbs and spices for a delicious dish.
Mango Chicken Salad: Whip up a refreshing and satisfying mango chicken salad that is perfect for a light and healthy meal. The combination of juicy mangoes, tender chicken, and crisp vegetables makes for a delightful dish.
Coconut Lime Shrimp: Indulge in the tropical flavors of coconut and lime with this zesty and succulent coconut lime shrimp recipe. It's a quick and easy dish that is bursting with fresh and vibrant flavors.

Appetizers and Desserts to Elevate Your Summer Cocktail Experience

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these delectable savory stuffed mushrooms. The combination of earthy mushrooms, savory filling, and gooey cheese will leave everyone wanting more.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise with these crispy coconut shrimp. The crunchy exterior and tender shrimp inside make for a perfect appetizer to kick off any meal.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of flavors and textures. It's a light and refreshing dessert option for a warm summer day.

Why trust this Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe:

This recipe is crafted with precision and expertise, ensuring a delightful summer cranberry cocktail experience. The combination of vodka, ocean spray 100% juice cranberry, and grapefruit juice creates a harmonious blend of flavors. The use of fresh grapefruit peel adds a zesty and aromatic touch, elevating the overall presentation and taste. With a meticulous process and attention to detail, this recipe guarantees a refreshing and satisfying cocktail that users can trust to impress their guests and elevate their summer gatherings.

Share your thoughts on the Summer Cranberry Cocktail Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any creative twists or variations to this refreshing beverage!
What can I use as a substitute for vodka in this cocktail?
You can substitute vodka with white rum or gin for a different flavor profile.
Can I use bottled cranberry juice instead of Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry?
Yes, you can use bottled cranberry juice if you don't have Ocean Spray 100% Juice Cranberry. However, the flavor may vary slightly.
Can I prepare this cocktail in advance for a party?
Yes, you can prepare the cocktail mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, pour the mixture over ice and garnish with the grapefruit twist.
Is there a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail?
Absolutely! You can simply omit the vodka and enjoy a refreshing mocktail with the cranberry and grapefruit juices over ice.
Can I use lemon peel instead of grapefruit peel for the garnish?
Yes, you can use lemon peel as a substitute for grapefruit peel if you prefer or if it's more readily available. It will add a slightly different citrusy aroma to the cocktail.

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