Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita

This Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita is a festive and easy tequila cocktail that can mostly be prepped ahead of time for a no-fuss and easy assembly.

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close-up of Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita

Hi! I actually had a different recipe planned to share with you all today but I have to admit that the stress of this US election has really got to me so it felt pretty appropriate to share this strong cocktail today. Although I had originally intended for this to be a Thanksgiving cocktail, I won’t judge if you whip up a pitcher tonight to sip on while watching the results roll in.

Why Use Simple Syrup In A Margarita

Using simple syrup in a margarita allows us to sweeten and/or flavor the cocktail slightly without compromising the texture or adding additional booze. This cranberry orange margarita gets its sweetness from a cranberry simple syrup which can be made up to a week ahead and stored in the fridge. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries depending on what is available at your local grocery store and any variety of orange should do the trick. Since I tend to like my cocktails not super sweet, you may prefer to add more simple syrup to your pitcher than I did so make sure to give it a taste test before serving and add more if needed.

What can I use instead of tequila in a margarita?

You can use vodka in place of tequila in this margarita recipe. Although that will then technically make it a vodkarita, vodka is neutral enough of an alcohol that it won’t significantly change the flavors of the drink. I would not recommend any sort of whiskey or brandy as I do imagine those will overpower the flavors here.

What You Need To Make A Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita

Make sure to add these items to your next grocery list so you are all set to make a pitcher of these Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margaritas:

  • granulated sugar
  • cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • oranges
  • tequila
  • triple sec (any orange liquor will work here!)
  • limes
  • salt (to put on the rim of the glasses)
  • sparkling water (not flavored)
  • ice
  • a pitcher (to mix and serve them in)
  • optional garnish options: rosemary sprigs, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries

The recipe below makes a pitcher (or 8 servings) but is pretty easy to half if you are serving less people. Although not traditional, I love the addition of a little splash of sparkling water to bring some bubbles into the drink. Just make sure you don’t add the sparkling water or ice until the end so the drink keeps it’s fizz and doesn’t get watered down by melted ice.

hang pouring sparkling water into the Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita
hand adding garnish to the cocktail
table with glasses and pitchers filled with margarita
Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita

This Sparkling Cranberry Orange Margarita is a festive and easy tequila cocktail that can mostly be prepped ahead of time for easy assembly.

Course: Drink
Servings: 8 servings
Ingredients
For the cranberry orange simple syrup:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange or 2 medium)
Everything else:
  • 2 cups tequila
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 3/4 cup cranberry orange simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • kosher salt
  • rosemary sprigs, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries for garnish
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 cup sparkling water
Instructions
For the cranberry orange simple syrup:
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup of water, sugar, cranberries, and orange juice and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and discard any solids. Use the syrup right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a 1 week.

To assemble:
  1. Combine the tequila, triple sec, simple syrup, and lime juice in a large pitcher and stir.

  2. Pour salt on a small plate and rub 8 glasses with one of the orange slice garnishes. Dip the rim of the glasses into the salt and fill each glass with your garnish options (orange slices, rosemary sprig, and/or cranberries).

  3. Right before serving, add ice and sparkling water to the pitcher. Pour into prepared glasses and enjoy!

table with pitcher and glasses filled with margaritas

Interested in other tequila cocktails? I’ve got you:

Make sure to tag Vegetarian ‘Ventures on Instagram and use #vegetarianventures when trying this dish out!

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