Cranberry, Clementine + Rosemary Cocktails

This festive Cranberry, Clementine  + Rosemary cocktail is just what you need to make it through this holiday season. Use up that box of clementines on your counter and create a cocktail It's bright, bubbly and perfect for celebrating!

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glass of light pink drink with ice, fresh cranberries and rosemary on dark wooden background

Cranberries are synonymous with the holidays because of their seasonality and bright ruby red color. I have more festive cranberry recipes like my Easy Cranberry Almond Tart, my Cranberry Meyer lemon Pie with Gingersnap Crust and Easy Sugared Cranberries which make a gorgeous shimmery garnish! If making the sugared cranberry garnish, you can reuse the simple syrup to make this cocktail.

Why this recipe works

  • Utilizes whole clementines for both juice as well as the oils from their skin.
  • An aromatic simple syrup adds lots of flavor and just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Made with vodka because it's clean and doesn't compete with the other ingredients.
  • Can be batch made in advance for easy entertaining.
  • Bubbles are added right before serving to keep the drinks fizzy.
  • Easily adaptable proportions to suit your taste.
  • Recipe makes a single cocktail or a pitcher to serve 16.
cocktails, clementines, sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs on a dark wooden background

Essential Ingredients

  • Clementines - I always have a box of them on my counter in the fall and they have thin, easy-to-muddle skin. Substitute mandarins, tangerines, satsumas or navel oranges in a pinch.
  • 100% Unsweetened Cranberry Juice - This is super important for achieving a cocktail that's not too sweet. Avoid cranberry cocktail juice.
  • Rosemary - Fresh only - dried won't work here.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Make a flavored simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and water in a pot along with fresh rosemary and clementine peels. Simmer on low until the sugar dissolves, then let steep until cool. Strain.

overhead close up of simple syrup with orange peel and rosemary

2. For a single drink: Muddle clementines and rosemary in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, cranberry juice, simple syrup and ice, then give it a good shake for about 10 seconds.

For a pitcher: Muddle clementines and rosemary in the bottom of a pitcher (OR in a pint glass or cocktail shaker if easier, then transfer to the pitcher). Add vodka, cranberry juice and simple syrup, then stir until everything is well combined. train into another pitcher to remove solids.

3. Add ice to glasses, then pour in the cocktail (use a strainer if pouring from the shaker). Top with sparkling wine or club soda, garnish with a rosemary sprig and fresh cranberries and enjoy!

close up of Cranberry, Clementine + Rosemary cocktail with rosemary sprig sticking out and sugared cranberries in the foreground

Faq

Can this be made as a mocktail without alcohol?

Yes! Just replace the vodka with equal parts cranberry juice and club soda OR with a non alcoholic spirit such as Seedlip.

Can this be made with another spirit than vodka?

Yes! I prefer vodka but this can work well with gin, tequila or mezcal.

Can I leave out the rosemary if I don't like it?

Absolutely. It adds a nice earthy, herbal quality to the drink, but you can skip it altogether or replace it with fresh thyme instead.

overhead shot of cocktail with sugared cranberries and a clementine on dark wooden background

Did you make this recipe and LOVE it? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and/or comment to help other readers. I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments. I love seeing when you make my recipes, so please tag me @ColeyCooks on Instagram and I will repost!

glass of light pink drink with ice, fresh cranberries and rosemary on dark wooden background
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Cranberry, Clementine + Rosemary Cocktails

This bright and festive Cranberry, Clementine  + Rosemary Cocktail is just what you need to make it through this holiday season! Make a single cocktail and scale up as needed or follow the instructions to make a pitcher (serves 16). Simple Syrup yields about 1 ½ cups or 12 ounces. 
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 drink
Calories: 180kcal

Ingredients

For the Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large fresh rosemary sprigs
  • peel from 2 clementines

For a single cocktail:

  • ½ clementine halved (2 quarters) *see note
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • 1 ½ ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce simple syrup use more or less to taste
  • 2 ounces 100% unsweetened cranberry juice NOT cranberry cocktail
  • ice
  • 3-4 oz club soda OR dry sparkling wine for topping
  • fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish optional

For a pitcher (serves 16)

  • 8 clementines quartered *see note
  • 8 large rosemary sprigs
  • 3 cups vodka
  • 1 cup simple syrup add more or less to taste
  • 4 cups 100% unsweetened cranberry juice NOT cranberry cocktail
  • ice
  • Club soda OR dry sparkling wine for topping 2-3 bottles
  • fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish optional

Instructions

Make the Simple Syrup

  1. Combine the water, sugar, rosemary sprigs and clementine peels in a small saucepan and bring up to a simmer over medium-low heat (do not boil).
  2. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and let steep for at least one hour or until cool.
  3. Strain out the solids, then store in a jar or squeeze bottle and chill until needed. Makes 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) and can be made up to 5 days in advance.

Make a single cocktail

  1. Muddle the clementine and rosemary in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add vodka, simple syrup, cranberry juice and ice, then give it a good shake.
  3. Add ice to a glass, then strain the mixture over top leaving about 1 inch of room. Top with club soda or sparkling wine.
  4. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a few fresh cranberries if desired and serve immediately.

Make a pitcher (serves 16)

  1. Muddle the clementines and rosemary in the bottom of a pitcher. Alternatively you can muddle the fruit in batches in a cocktail shaker or pint glass and then add it to the pitcher.
  2. Add vodka, simple syrup and cranberry juice, then stir until well combined. Let sit for 1 hour to infuse.
  3.  Strain to remove the solids, being sure to press and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Pour the liquid back into the pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made up to one day in advance.
  4. Pour into glasses with ice, leaving about 1 inch of room on top. Pour club soda or sparkling wine over top.
  5. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a few fresh cranberries if desired and serve immediately.

Notes

*Use a whole clementine (or 16 instead of 8) if very small or use less if using a larger orange
Short on time? Skip the flavored simple syrup and use plain simple syrup or agave nectar in a pinch. It won't have quite as much flavor but will still taste great.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 120mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 26IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

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9 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    5 stars! Saw this recipe in my email today and made it for cocktails for two tonight. I got ahead of myself and boiled the simple syrup before fully reading the directions (too bitter and strong from the rosemary) so I had to start over. THEN it was perfect, and just what we needed before the Christmas hub-bub begins tomorrow.

  2. 5 stars
    The wife and I are hosting a big Christmas party this year (last one had over 80 people attend!!) and this is going to be our signature cocktail for the night. Thank you so much! Going to make a literal 2 gallons of the infused simple syrup because I can already tell that I'll be manning that cocktail shaker all night once someone sees the first one. Thank you for the inspiration! Can't wait to give it a trial run this weekend, and then wow our friends and family! Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. 5 stars
        a year late but I made them all individually because I am a total masochist! It was so good I’m literally in the process of making it all again tonight. Just grabbing fresh rosemary and then I’m going to make about 3 liters of simple syrup!

        1. 5 stars
          Hello! I am considering making this as a big batch for a holiday party coming up - how do you think it will hold up? Thanks!

          1. They will be GREAT! Just mix everything together in a pitcher EXCEPT for the seltzer / sparkling wine. Pour out the cocktails and then top them off with bubbles right before serving. Enjoy!