A festive Vodka Cranberry Cocktail is the best way to get any holiday party started! It’s made with just 4 ingredients and is ready in 5 minutes, plus it’s super delicious and goes down smooth. The perfect sparkling, jolly drink to enjoy with your holiday dinners and parties!

Cranberry cocktail garnished with cranberries and orange slices.

‘Tis the season for gatherings, parties, celebrations, and a refreshing Cranberry Cocktail!

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is that it’s filled with parties, dinners and family gatherings. There’s always delicious food and holiday drinks for us to enjoy.

When it comes to the holidays, more than likely I will be entertaining at some point and maybe even throw a holiday party. I have so much fun hosting friends and family! It’s essential to have lots of tasty food and you can’t forget something delicious to drink. Even if it’s just a small gathering, having a fun cocktail to serve is the perfect added touch.

This cranberry orange drink is one of my favorites to mix up for guests. I’m obsessed with the cranberry flavor this time of year and I’ll definitely be enjoying this cranberry cocktail before Thanksgiving dinner! It is the perfect, festive, pairing for your holiday events.

This is my go-to drink! I just had to comment because I make this all of the time now. So easy and tasty!

— Erika
Pouring cranberry juice into a glass with orange juice.

Ingredients needed

This cranberry cocktail recipe has all the flavors of the holidays in one delicious sip. Full of cranberry and orange juice, this drink is not only delicious, it is pretty to look at, too! Especially, if you garnish it with all the beautiful fruit of the season. I love adding sugared cranberries and fresh orange slices. And, of course, it has to have a little fizz! Sprite or Fresca work great when I want to give my drinks a little extra pizzaz. Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sprite. Give your cocktails a little bubbly! You can sub the Sprite for any favorite sparkling water, club soda, 7up, or Fresca. Use diet soda to cut down on the calories and sugar. If you don’t want the extra carbonation, feel free to just increase the amount of vodka or juice, or just completely omit.
  • Cranberry juice. The taste of orange with the tart flavor cranberry is such a winning flavor combination!
  • Orange juice. We highly recommend using fresh orange juice to really take this drink to the next level! Sometimes I can find freshly squeezed orange juice in the produce department of my grocery store.
  • Vodka. Find a good quality vodka! I like Prairie Organic Vodka, Smirnoff or Titos. You can also sub it with extra Sprite or Topo Chico to make this drink a family-friendly fun mocktail!
  • Garnish. If you’re serving these drinks at a party or holiday gathering, adding the garnish is really fun. We like to add an orange slice and fresh or sugared cranberries. Topping with a few rosemary sprigs is another option.

How to make this recipe

This easy beverage is SO simple and you can easily mix up one or twenty-one! Here’s a quick rundown of the process, but you’ll find the full, printable recipe in the recipe card below.

  1. Ice. First things first, add plenty of ice to a cocktail glass.
  2. Pour. Then, pour equal parts Sprite, cranberry juice, orange juice and vodka (optional) over the ice. I usually use about 2 ounces of each drink ingredient. No shaking or stirring required!
  3. Garnish. Last, you can garnish with sugared cranberries or regular cranberries and a slice of orange. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, depending on how festive I’m feeling!

Rim your glass

For an elegant touch, add sugar to the rim of your glass! Add about 2 tablespoons of fine white sugar onto a plate. Before pouring your drink, rub the rim of the glass with an orange wedge. Then, dip the rim into the sugar.

Cocktails by the pitcher

Make this cranberry cocktail recipe for a crowd! Here’s how:

  • To make a pitcher that serves 4 people, combine 8 ounces of the following: Sprite, cranberry juice, orange juice and vodka.
  • Throw in extra orange slices, fresh cranberries, mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • If you’re not going to be serving right away, you can just mix the juices and vodka in the pitcher. Then, when serving, fill glasses about halfway or three-fourths full and top off with Sprite or sparkling water.
  • If you’re looking for a cranberry punch recipe, this Sparkling Cranberry Pineapple Punch looks fabulous!
Pouring sprite into a cocktail made with cranberry juice, vodka and orange juice.

Expert tips

Here are a few quick tips for making these cranberry cocktails perfect every single time:

  • For the absolute best flavor, we recommend using fresh ingredients. If you can find fresh orange juice and fresh cranberry juice, that would be great! If not, try to buy high-quality organic orange juice and cranberry juice. It may be a little bit more expensive, but the flavor will be well worth it.
  • Your vodka matters. A high-quality vodka, like Prairie Organic Vodka or Titos goes down smooth and isn’t too harsh. Do yourself a favor and get some nice vodka. Here’s a recent rating of the 5 best vodkas.
  • Chill the glass. For an icy cold and ultra refreshing cranberry cocktail, consider chilling the glass in the freezer for about 30 minutes before making your drink. It’s also a good idea to chill the vodka.

Frequently asked questions

Is this cranberry cocktail strong?

In my opinion, these cocktails don’t taste too strong and go down really easy… maybe a little too easy! Don’t even ask me about my dad’s retirement party! The strength of the beverage is really going to depend on the ratio of ingredients that you use. I make mine with 3 parts non-alcoholic liquid (sprite, cranberry juice, orange juice) and 1 part alcohol (vodka), creating a drink that is not overly robust. Feel free to adjust the amount of vodka in this recipe for a stronger or less strong drink.

What alcohol mixes with cranberry juice?

Cranberry juice pairs best with orange juice and orange liqueur. In this recipe, we’re pairing it with orange juice, so this cocktail isn’t too strong. Other great mixers are grapefruit juice and pineapple juice. As far as alcohol, it combines well with vodka, rum, gin, bourbon, whiskey, champagne, or red wine.

What is cranberry cocktail?

This is an alternative to cranberry juice that is not 100% juice. Other fruits are sometimes added to balance the tart cranberry taste. Cranberry juice cocktail also has added sugars or high-fructose corn syrup for extra sweetness.

What is a vodka and cranberry called?

A drink made with vodka and cranberry juice is often called a Cape Cod or Cape Codder. Some recipes also call for squeezing a lime wedge over the glass and dropping it into the drink.


This cranberry cocktail recipe is pretty amazing as is, but here are some fun ideas for a new twist when you’re ready to change it up!

  • Juice. Change up either of the juices in the recipe. Pomegranate juice with orange juice is a great combo and still very festive. Another tasty option would be apple juice with the cranberry juice. Other juice options are pineapple juice and/or grapefruit juice.
  • Bubbly. Instead of Sprite, try a cranberry-flavored sparkling water, Fresca or ginger ale.
  • Vodka. Replace the vodka with tequila for a cranberry margarita. Or you could make a cranberry mimosa with champagne or sparkling wine instead of vodka. In that case, I would omit the sparkling soda and use more than 2 ounces of champagne. A third option is to replace the vodka with ginger beer for a cranberry Moscow mule.
  • Shots. In the mood for a shot? Make a cranberry shot with 2 oz. of regular or citrus-flavored vodka, 0.5 oz. ounce triple sec and 0.5 oz. cranberry juice.
Cranberry cocktail near a can of Sprite.

I just love a good refreshing cocktail or mocktail. Whether we have 1 guest or 40, I like to keep things on-hand to mix up this fun and festive drink. They are so yummy and add a little something special to a simple get together. This vodka cranberry cocktail could not be more perfect! Make this for Thanksgiving, Christmas and to celebrate the new year! Cheers!

Snack recipes to pair with this drink

If you’re celebrating the holidays, you’ll definitely need some snacks to go along with this cocktail!

More tasty drink recipes to enjoy

Enjoy more of my favorite cocktails!

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

Vodka cranberry cocktail with sugared cranberries and orange slices.
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Vodka Cranberry Cocktail

A festive Vodka Cranberry Cocktail is the best way to get any holiday party started! It's made with just 4 ingredients and is ready in 5 minutes, plus it's super delicious and goes down smooth. The perfect sparkling, jolly drink to enjoy with your holiday dinners and parties!
Author: Kim


  • Ice
  • 1 part Sprite
  • 1 part Cranberry Juice
  • 1 part Orange Juice
  • 1 part Vodka, optional
  • Sliced orange and/or fresh or sugared cranberries for garnish, optional


  • Add ice to a cocktail glass. Pour equal parts (I like to use 2 ounces of each) Sprite, cranberry juice, orange juice, and vodka (optional) over ice. Add a slice of orange and sugared cranberries for garnish, if desired and serve.
    Pouring sprite into a glass with ice.


Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used for garnish. Here’s a great recipe for sugared cranberries, if you’d like to make your drink extra fancy! 
Serving: 1drink, Calories: 211kcal, Carbohydrates: 20.5g, Protein: 0.7g, Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Sodium: 13.3mg, Potassium: 173.2mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 19.2g, Vitamin A: 6.8IU, Vitamin C: 40.8mg, Calcium: 7.3mg, Iron: 1mg

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