Cranberry Lime Mocktail – This non-alcoholic cranberry mocktail recipe is an easy holiday drink everyone can enjoy!
It’s really starting to feel like the holiday season!
In-between testing holiday cookie recipes, and nailing down our holiday menus, I’ve been having so much fun mixing up some fun holiday mocktails lately, and this cranberry lime mocktail is a major winner.
I love the fresh taste, vibrant colors (that red and green!!!), and how beautiful they look in a cute glass. We’re already planning to make some for our holiday celebrations, since they can easily scale up to serve a crowd.
I love a good non-alcoholic drink for the holidays that EVERYONE can enjoy. Kids, grown-ups, pregnant ladies, it’s safe for everyone! This one’s nice and simple–no special skills or cocktail shaker required!
Here’s what you need to make this easy cranberry mocktail recipe…
Here’s What You Need To Make This Cranberry Mocktail:
- Ice. Because an ice-cold mocktail is the best mocktail.
- Mint Simple Syrup. This quick 3-ingredient simple syrup adds a fresh, bright flavor that layers with the other ingredients to feel so light and refreshing.
- Fresh Lime Juice. Citrus and cranberries are delicious together, so we’re using a little fresh lime juice in this drink.
- Cranberry Juice. You can use straight unsweetened cranberry juice (so long as you add more mint simple syrup to temper the tartness), but I usually recommend a cranberry juice blend with 100% juice. It’s less sweet than cranberry juice cocktail that’s sweetened with sugar. Cranberry-pomegranate juice is my favorite! If you have to watch your carbohydrates or sugar intake, feel free to use a diet cranberry juice blend.
- Sparkling Water. Then, you’ll cut the sweetness by topping off the drink with a little club soda or sparkling water. I usually use sparkling water like Perrier.
- Pretty Garnishes. More on this in a minute, but you can easily dress this cranberry mocktail up for any occasion or holiday by switching up the garnishes!
How To Make Cranberry Lime Mocktails, Step By Step:
Start By Making The Mint Simple Syrup
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then turn off the heat and add fresh mint leaves.
- Steep the mint for at least 30 minutes up to 2 hours, then cool to room temperature.
- Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve and store in a glass jar.
- Mint syrup will keep several weeks in the fridge and can be made in advance.
Then, Make Your Mocktail
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Build your drink. Pour in mint simple syrup, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice, and 1/4-1/2 cup sparkling water to fill the glass the rest of the way.
- Gently stir to combine, then top with your favorite garnishes.
Pretty Garnishes For A Holiday Mocktail
Since cranberries are in season in fall and winter, this cranberry mocktail recipe is a perfect holiday drink. It’s easy to dress it up for special dinners, gatherings, and parties for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and more.
- Fresh Mint. Since it’s a cranberry lime mocktail, fresh mint makes a perfect garnish! A few leaves muddled in the drink, a mint leaf or two on top, or a sprig of mint added to each glass make for a gorgeous green pop of color next to the red drink. So festive!
- Fresh Lime. Lime slices and lime wedges make a great garnish to play up the flavors in this drink. Add them to the drink itself, or use a lime slice on the edge of your cup. (Cut a small slit to the center of the lime slice, then slide it onto the side of your glass.)
- Sugared Cranberries. If you have leftover mint simple syrup, you can use it to make a batch of sugared cranberries. They have such a beautiful, sparkly, frosted effect that makes these cranberry lime mocktails seem extra cold and festive. Add a few to a cocktail pick to decorate your drink!
- Fresh or Frozen Cranberries. Or, keep things simple with some fresh or frozen cranberries. Frozen cranberries can even help keep your drink cold!
- Pretty Ice Cubes. Use a fun ice tray mold to get shaped ice, or use your regular ice cube tray and add cranberries, mint, lime, orange, or rosemary to the ice cubes as they freeze!
- Rosemary. Especially when I make this as a Christmas mocktail, adding a sprig of fresh rosemary looks gorgeous. I find even one little rosemary sprig adds another subtle layer of flavor that can be fun!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The BEst Cranberry Lime Mocktail
Mix It Up! Want to try another spin on this cranberry lime mocktail recipe? Try one of these variations:
- Make It With Orange. Use orange juice and orange slices instead of lime. Orange and cranberry are delightful together!
- Swap The Simple Syrup. Try it with ginger-mint simple syrup, ginger simple syrup, orange simple syrup, or rosemary simple syrup instead!
- Add A Splash Of Ginger! Or, add a bit of extra warmth and depth with a splash of spicy ginger beer (non-alcoholic) or milder ginger ale. Ginger + lime + mint + cranberry are delightful together! It’s sort of like a cranberry twist on a virgin moscow mule!
- Use Half Sparkling Cider. You can also give this a cranberry-apple vibe by using half cranberry juice and half sparkling apple juice or cider. Chop or slice some apples to garnish! (I recommend lemon juice instead of lime juice for this variation!)
Can I Make This Naturally Sweetened? It’s possible to make simple syrup using honey, agave, or pure maple syrup, but I find that honey and maple syrup definitely impact the flavor of this drink and I don’t recommend them. I help keep the sugar down by using 100% juice rather than cranberry juice cocktail, which is usually a blend of juices sweetened with sugar.
Can I Add Alcohol? I don’t drink, so admittedly I’m not the best person to offer booze advice, but I would think so! Rum or vodka are both common pairings for these flavors (cranberry, lime, mint).
Scale It Up! If you’re serving a crowd, you can easily scale this recipe for a pitcher or punch bowl. You use 1 part simple syrup, 2 parts lime juice, 4 parts cranberry juice, and 2-4 parts sparkling water/soda water.