Try a cranberry gin and tonic for a winter twist on a classic cocktail, bringing together cranberry and lime for a tart dance with bitter tonic water and herbal gin.

Two bright red cranberry gin and tonics with limes, fresh rosemary, and ingredients in the background.

A cranberry gin and tonic is a knock out combination. Not literally, of course one of these drinks won’t knock you out, but the addition of cranberry to a classic G &T is gilding the lily, in a good sense. With Christmas right around the corner, you’ll want to add this festive beverage to your cocktail menu.

I tend toward cocktails that aren’t cloyingly sweet which is one of the reasons I love a gin and tonic. The addition of tart cranberry juice doesn’t increase the sweetness a bit but it adds a whole new dimension of flavor to this holiday cocktail. It’s fairly low in calories, less than 250 calories for a good-sized drink.

And color! Isn’t this a beautiful cocktail? Brilliant red with dark crimson cranberries, bright green lime wedges, and silvery rosemary leaves — it’s a visual feast. The red and green are perfect for Christmas.

If you love G & Ts, you’re going to want to give this variation a try, and if you’ve never had a gin and tonic, let me introduce you! It may be the beginning of a happy relationship.

As always, drink responsibly!

Overhead view of a drink with fresh cranberries, lime slices, and a sprig of rosemary.

About this cranberry gin and tonic:

A cranberry gin and tonic is a pretty simple cocktail so it’s important to use quality ingredients. For more basics about selecting the right kind of gin or the best tonic water, check out my classic gin and tonic recipe.  

This recipe makes one drink. Gin and tonics taste best mixed individually, not poured into a pitcher or punch bowl. Use a tall highball glass, or large globe glass. If your glasses are smaller, halve the ingredients.

Cranberry being poured into a G&T cocktail.

Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary, if possible. The herbal aroma of rosemary on the rim of the glass really enhances the drink. With each sip, the scent of the rosemary mingles with the flavor of cranberry, lime, and gin. Crush the leaves slightly with your fingertips for the full effect. 

About fizz: Use a freshly opened bottle of tonic water. Flat tonic water is sort of gross. Pour the tonic water slowly to retain the maximum amount of fizz. Coldness is key to retaining fizz, as well, so chill all the elements of the cocktail, including the glass if possible, and use plenty of fresh ice. 

Tonic water being added to a red cocktail.

What’s in a cranberry G&T?

  • Cranberry juice (100% cranberry juice for best flavor)
  • Gin 
  • Tonic — use an Indian tonic water, if possible
  • Lime slices
  • Fresh cranberries
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary to garnish

A bright red drink with cranberries and lime.

How to make this gin and tonic your own:

This is such a simple recipe, it’s hard to vary it much but here’s a few suggestions.

  • If you like a sweeter drink, use a cranberry cocktail juice or add simple syrup.
  • If you like a stronger cranberry flavor, increase the amount of cranberry juice added.
  • For stronger drinks, use additional gin.
  • If you prefer a mocktail, with no alcohol, maybe this isn’t the drink for you; try a Ginger-Cinnamon Apple Cider Mocktail.
  • If orange juice is more your thing, try this citrusy orange gin and tonic.

A hand holding a gin and tonic made with cranberries.

Make-Ahead Tips

Cranberry gin and tonics are best made individually and served immediately. Make sure all of the ingredients are cold, including the glasses, if possible. Make sure you have plenty of fresh ice on hand. 

Two beautiful red cocktails with festive holiday garnishes.

Raise a glass!

Looking for more holiday beverages? Try:

 

Overhead view of a gin and tonic made with cranberry juice, garnished with fresh cranberries, lime, and rosemary.

Cranberry Gin and Tonic with Rosemary

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Try a cranberry gin and tonic for a winter twist on a classic cocktail, bringing together cranberry and lime for a tart dance with bitter tonic water and herbal gin.

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • 3 lime slices, divided
  • ½ cup cranberries, divided
  • 1 ½ ounces gin, chilled
  • 1 ½ ounce 100% cranberry juice, chilled
  • 3 ounces Indian tonic water, chilled
  • Rosemary sprig, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a tall glass about ¾ of the way with ice; add 2 lime slices and half of the cranberries.
  2. Pour in gin and cranberry juice, and slowly top with tonic water. 
  3. Garnish with an additional lime slice, cranberries, place rosemary sprig on rim of glass, and serve with a straw, if desired.

Notes

  • Use 100% cranberry juice and not cranberry juice cocktail for best flavor.
  • Cranberry juice may be increased to 1 ounce for more cranberry flavor, if desired.
  • Crush the rosemary lightly with your fingertips and position it on the rim next to the straw so you can smell it while you sip.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 cocktail
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 8gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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