If you love a good vodka cranberry cocktail, then you’re going to adore this Cranberry Vodka Gimlet recipe. A float of fresh cranberries is the perfect, festive garnish for this easy vodka drink.
Sure, you can make a cranberry cocktail year round, but the arrival of fresh cranberries in grocery stores can only mean one thing: the holidays are just around the corner.
Looking for a seasonal cocktail to welcome the upcoming holidays? Look no further than this Cranberry Vodka Gimlet. It’s little bit sweet, a little bit tart and has just a hint of pucker - perfect for cranberry season.
What is a gimlet cocktail?
A traditional gimlet is a cocktail usually made with gin and Rose’s Lime Cordial, a sweetened lime juice.
History mentions that gimlet cocktails originated with British sailors in the 19th century. The ship doctor encouraged his shipmates to add lime juice to their gin because it was thought to prevent scurvy.
Though this recipe strays from the traditional, it still follows the same blueprint as a gimlet - liquor plus lime juice - along with a few extra ingredients:
- Citrus vodka (instead of gin)
- Fresh lime juice (instead of Rose's Lime Juice)
- Unsweetened cranberry juice (see note below about unsweetened vs. sweetened juice)
- Simple syrup - You can make simple syrup at home with our easy, 2-ingredient recipe.
Note: I recommend you buy UNSWEETENED cranberry juice for this recipe. I’ve had good luck with both Ocean Spray and Knudsen Juice unsweetened cranberry juices. If you can only find sweetened cranberry juice, dial back the simple syrup or your drink will be far too sweet.
The method for making a gimlet of any kind is pretty straightforward: add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake the heck out of it.
A gimlet is definitely one of those cocktails that needs to be shaken and not stirred. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- A gimlet is served straight up and not over ice. You need to adequately cool the ingredients by shaking them with ice for at least 30 seconds so they remain chilled while you sip.
- Cocktails with citrus juice in them should almost always be shaken because juice and alcohol have different densities. They won’t mix easily unless well-shaken.
There are no hard and fast rules here but generally most gimlets are served like a martini in either a coupe or martini glass.
Any glass with a broad, shallow bowl will work and accommodate the more petite size of this drink very well. We get some of our vintage glassware from thrift stores.
If you happen to have some fresh cranberries on hand, definitely float them in this vodka gimlet. It’s hardly any effort but yields a very festive effect. Small lime wedges also work well here. Feeling fancy? Add both!
More cranberry cocktails
- Love martinis? This Cranberry Martini is a close cousin to the popular cosmo recipe with a unique twist: blackberry vodka.
- Sparkling wine adds an extra festive touch to this Gin & Cranberry cocktail.
- Celebrating a holiday brunch? Ditch the typical mimosa for these beautiful Prosecco Cocktails with cranberry juice and orange liqueur.
- No home bar should be without a recipe for a Cranberry Vodka.
- Hosting a crowd? Try these batch cocktails with cranberry juice: a festive vodka Christmas Punch and a seasonal spin on a Whiskey Sour Recipe.
You can find more easy vodka drinks in our archives.
Cranberry Vodka Gimlet
- 2 ounces citrus vodka
- ¾ ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
- ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- Fresh cranberries and lime wedges optional
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake thoroughly for at least 30 seconds and strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with lime wedges or twists and float fresh cranberries in glass, if desired.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
Love a good vodka cranberry cocktail but want something a little different for your holiday parties? Look no further than these easy, crowd-pleasing Cranberry Vodka Gimlets! This 4-ingredient recipe is festive and can easily be batched and made in advance.