Tangy, tart and naturally sweet, this Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita is easy on the eyes and smooth to sip! Easy to prepare and garnished with simple, DIY sugared cranberries, this cranberry cocktail is the perfect addition to any celebration, or a great way to toast ‘5 o’clock somewhere’!
Update: This post was originally published in February 2018. I made updates to the post below to include more information about this holiday margarita. Plus, I added a recipe video to show you how easy this cranberry cocktail is to make!
Hi, friends! We are going to continue the Valentine’s Day celebration. And, we are doing it up in a *big* way with my favorite part of any celebration – aside from the food, obviously. The festive cocktails.
Today’s little libation is sparkly, pink and just perfect for the day dedicated to love. Or, the day dedicated to girlfriends if you are celebrating Galentine’s Day. Or, any day dedicated to yourself, because let’s be real, we could all use a little extra TLC on any given day.
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Cranberry & Pomegranate Margaritas
This holiday margarita is dangerously smooth and easy to sip!
Tart, sour and slightly sweet with distinct notes of heavenly pomegranate, bitter cranberry, citrusy orange and boozy tequila.
The fresh, crisp taste of this cranberry pomegranate margarita is balanced with a salty, sugary, crystallized rim and provides a symphony of flavors!
And we mustn’t forget about piece de resistance of this libation – the garnishes. Jeweled pomegranate arils and juicy pops of sugared cranberries finish off this pretty in pink potion like KAPOWWWW.
What type of tequila in a margarita?
A good margarita should have a depth of flavors and a happy marriage of ingredients.
Most margarita recipes, including this Christmas cranberry margarita, utilize blanco, or silver tequila. However, if your pockets are deep, Reposado Tequila is a seriously delicious option!
Lost in the liquor aisle? All these 100% agave tequilas are great choices for your margarita – Avion, Casa Noble Crystal, Herradura, Don Julio, Milagro, 1800, and Patron.
Why salt the rim of a pomegranate margarita?
Salting the rim of a margarita glass is more than just a decorative flare!
Adding salt to the rim not only adds flavor, but it also balances out the sweetness of ingredients, tartness of lime and softens the bite of tequila.
I recommend pairing this Pomegranate Margarita with a salt and sugar rim! The addition of sugar to the salty rim helps even out the tartness of the cranberry juice. Since cranberry juice is not a traditional ingredient, you will not find sugar on the rim of classic marg.
What kind of salt and sugar to use for rimming a margarita glass?
Kosher salt is typically the most used type of salt to use on the rim of a margarita glass as it doesn’t clump, and clings the best to the lime washed rim. Since table salt is a fine grain, you will end up with clumps of salt on the rim – which will result in an overpowering, salty margarita.
Don’t have kosher salt? Maldon sea salt is your next best option. Sea salt has the largest grain, so fewer crystals will stick to the rim. If you are looking for a briny tasting salt rim, sea salt is your best bet.
When it comes to sugar on the rim, granulated sugar is most often picked. The clean and bright flavor of simple granulated sugar pairs perfectly with the high acidity of this sweet n’ tart Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita. If you are looking for a coarser, fancier sugar for your rim, I highly suggest turbinado or cocktail sugars.
Easy on the eyes, and even easier to sip, this holiday margarita *deserves* a place in your cocktail arsenal.
Until next week, friends, cheers! To cocktails – arguably the best part of any celebration.
More berry cocktail recipes!
The best Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita with step-by-step video👇
Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita
- ¾ Cup Tequila *
- 1/3 Cup Orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or Triple Sec)
- ½ Cup Pomegranate Juice
- ½ Cup Cranberry Juice (make sure it’s a brand that is 100% juice)
- ¼ Cup Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 ounce Agave Nectar optional
- Club Soda to taste (optional)
Sugared Cranberries: (yield 3/4 Cups)
- 3/4 cup Sugar divided
- 3 ounces Fresh Cranberries
- Garnish: Ice Cubes, Lime Wedges, Pomegranate Arils, Salt & Sugared Rim, Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
- Make the sugared cranberries: Combine ¼ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, and stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and add in the cranberries. Stir until well coated. Allow to sit for 10 minutes*, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to a wire rack*. Set aside and allow them to dry for at least 1 hour.
- Once dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar to a large plate. Roll the cranberries in sugar until well coated. Allow to dry again, for at least another hour.
- For the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker, or Mason jar, add the tequila through lime juice. Fill with ice and shake until thoroughly chilled, about 15 seconds. Taste and adjust with optional agave and club soda.
- Serve: Strain margarita over ice filled glass rimmed with sugar and salt*. Garnish with sugared cranberries and other optional garnishes if using. Enjoy!
- This recipe utilizes either blanco, or silver tequila.
- If you want your sugared cranberries to have a less tart taste, transfer the cranberries in the sugar water to a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight. Then proceed with recipe as directed - drying and rolling in sugar.
- Allowing the sugared cranberries to dry on a wire rack is best, however if you do not have one, you can use a baking sheet covered with wax paper instead.
- For the rim, Kosher Salt and Granulated Sugar are the best choices.
- If you want a weaker margarita, top the cocktail off with a couple ounces of Club Soda. Just make sure you add the soda to the cocktail glass and NOT the shaker!
- If a sweeter margarita is desired, add an ounce (or more to taste) of agave to the cocktail shaker.
- Always make sure you are making your cocktails to YOUR taste. Use this recipe as a guide, then taste and adjust to your liking.
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