This fun cocktail is perfect for Fall and Winter and is the perfect blend of sweet and tart. Easy to make a small or large batch, this whiskey cocktail comes together quickly and is great for parties!
This is one of my Drink recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
When I think of Winter drinks, I tend to think of cozy, hot drinks, like spiced mulled wine or maybe some nutella hot chocolate. But sometimes, a drink like this whiskey cocktail hits the spot during the colder months!
The cranberry and orange are great Fall and Winter flavors, and the whiskey warms you from the inside.
Of course, you can serve this whiskey cocktail up year-round if you’d like, it’s a really versatile drink recipe!
There are plenty of ways to change this recipe up if you’d like, and I’ve included a large batch version in the “chef tips” right below the recipe instructions, in case you’re having a party and don’t want to make just 2 cocktails at a time.
How to make a cranberry orange whiskey cocktail?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Add juices, liquor, liqueur, syrup, and herbs to shaker. Give it a good shake with some ice.
- Strain into glasses. Divide the contents of the shaker evenly among the glasses.
- Top off with ginger beer. This cuts through a lot of the sweet/tartness to really round out the flavors.
- Garnish and serve.
Garnishes are always optional, but with drinks they add such a fun and bar/restaurant-style look!
Variations of this recipe
- Cranberry juice – regular cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail will work for this recipe.
- Whiskey – since this is a blended cocktail, I wouldn’t use top of the line alcohol. I’ve made this with Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, and Maker’s Mark, but feel free to use your favorite.
- Orange liqueur – if you don’t have triple sec, Grand Marnier or Cointreau are great substitutes.
- Simple syrup – simple syrup can be bought at most large grocery stores and liquor stores, but you can also make your own. Bring equal parts granulated sugar and water to a boil, then boil for several minutes, until the mixture is clear. Cool and refrigerate for up to 2-3 weeks.
- Ginger ale – if you would rather not use ginger beer, you could use ginger ale instead. Just know that the drink may be sweeter though.
Yes, you definitely can. Essentially all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Bourbon will have a more pronounced oak-y flavor, but it should work well in this recipe.
The drink may be a little sweeter than usual, since cranberry juice cocktail generally has extra sugar added, as well as some other juices to counteract the tartness of straight cranberry juice.
Making cranberry whiskey cocktails ahead of time
If you’d like, feel free to make this drink up to 24 hours ahead of time!
Just keep it covered in a pitcher or jar in the refrigerator, minus the ginger beer. When ready to serve, add it to a cocktail shaker with some ice and give it a good shaking.
Pour over ice in the serving glasses, top with the ginger beer and garnishes, then serve.
Any leftover cocktails should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 1-2 days.
This shaker is elegant and refined, and has held up well for years. Plus I love that it comes with a stand and full set of cocktail accessories! However, it’s gone up in price quite a bit since I purchased it, so please feel free to use any cocktail shaker you’d like.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 3 oz cranberry juice
- 6 oz orange juice
- 4 oz whiskey
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz triple sec
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary
- 4 oz ginger beer
- frozen cranberries
- orange peel
- additional thyme or rosemary sprigs
- To a cocktail shaker, add ice, cranberry juice, orange juice, whiskey, lemon juice, triple sec, simple syrup, and 2 sprigs of thyme (or rosemary). Cover and shake well, for about 5-10 seconds.
- Add ice to two glasses, and strain and pour the drink from the cocktail shaker evenly between the two glasses.
- Top each glass with approximately 2 oz of the ginger beer and garnish with frozen cranberries, orange peel, and a sprig of thyme (or rosemary) in each glass.
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- Recipe should make approximately 20 oz, which I’ve divided up into 2 (10 oz each) cocktails. However, please feel free to divide the recipe up into whichever size drink you’d like.
- Recipe adapted from Crowded Kitchen
- For a party or large gathering, I would recommend quadrupling the recipe (multiply all ingredients by 4), which would require an 85 oz or larger pitcher.
- However, you can make a large batch with any multiple of the recipe, you just want to make sure you have a large enough pitcher to hold everything.
- Multiply all ingredients (except the ginger beer and garnishes) by whichever multiple you’d like, and add them to a pitcher. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate for several hours, up to 1-2 days.
- When ready to serve, stir really well, and pour over ice into glasses. Top off glasses with the ginger beer, add garnishes and serve!
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.