Celebrate the start of a new year with a delicious drink that is as elegant as it is refreshing. This mocktail combines the seasonal flavors of cranberries and citrus fruit with sweet notes of vanilla and honey along with a touch of warm cinnamon.
The Cranberry Blood Orange Mocktail was dreamed up on a cold winter’s day using ingredients I already had hanging around my home.
As with most holidays in 2020, I promised myself that I would make an effort to get into the spirit as much as I possibly could for the holiday festivities, even if that meant ringing in the New Year at home with just my little family.
A can of ginger ale, some fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a generous helping of cranberry juice later, the cranberry & blood orange drink of my dreams was born.
Citrus fruits are plentiful in December, and I’ve been addicted to citrusy recipes lately, so I couldn’t resist the chance to scoop up some gorgeous blood oranges during my most recent grocery delivery.
Blood oranges get their name from the dark red-orange colored flesh that they harbor inside. Not only are they beautiful, they taste absolutely divine too.
A blood orange definitely tastes like an orange, but with a touch of a berry-like taste that adds an additional layer of sweetness to the fruit.
Combined with cranberry juice and a few other aromatic ingredients, blood oranges contribute to a mouthwatering tropical punch-like flavor profile that’ll have you dreaming of an island escape in the dead of winter.
Making a mocktail
Whether you’re a consumer of alcoholic beverages or not, I’m certain that you’ll love the taste of this cranberry-orange concoction.
When making a mocktail, there are two goals that I like to keep in mind:
- Make it elegant.
- Make it alcohol-free.
There are lots of different ways to replace the flavors of spirits in many cocktails. In this orange and cranberry cocktail, vanilla extract and honey allow the to take on a flavor that is reminiscent of a sweet bourbon.
It’s the perfect compliment to the bold flavors of orange and cranberry.
An element of something sparkling like ginger ale added to the mix and a pinch of spicy cinnamon makes this mocktail fun and provides a slightly warming effect.
You could even call this a breakfast mocktail (it’s basically a mimosa anyway!). Since the flavors are so intense, I’d recommend pairing it with something not-too-sweet to eat, like a slice of pumpkin bread or a bran muffin.
Substitute for Cranberry Juice
If you don’t have cranberry juice around, or you need to find a substitute for another reason, there are plenty of options. Try one of these juices in place of the cranberry stuff:
- Pomegranate juice
- Blueberry juice
- Red grape juice
- Raspberry juice
- Cherry juice
Other substitutes that you can make if you don’t have all of these ingredients on hand include sparkling apple/white grape juice or your favorite sparkling water for the ginger ale. You could even use tonic water or Sprite/7-Up if preferred.
I recommend using fresh-squeezed orange juice if possible, but you can totally use bottled orange juice if needed.
Try these other recipes that are perfect for your next holiday event:
- Mini Toasts with White Cheddar, Apple, and Honey
- Blackberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip
- Oven Roasted Pears with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce
- Spicy Feta and Balsamic Heirloom Tomato Tart
If you tried this mocktail recipe, I’d love to hear how it went for you. Please share your thoughts by leaving a star rating and a comment below!
- 2 ounces ginger ale
- 4 ounces cranberry juice
- 4 ounces orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- handful of ice
- Pour the ginger ale into a 12-16 ounce glass.
- Add the cranberry juice, orange juice, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon into a Mason jar.
- Close the lid tightly and shake until combined.
- Open the Mason jar and add a handful of ice, then secure the lid and give it another good shake.
- Pour the mixture into your glass of ginger ale.
- Garnish with orange slices, if desired, and serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 207Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 15mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 1g