This festive bubbly cranberry orange mocktail is easy to prepare, looks so beautiful and uses fresh cranberries instead of cranberry juice! Also, filled with amazing flavor with the right balance of sweet vs tart. To make it easier to serve this non-alcoholic drink for gatherings, make the syrup ahead and combine it with sparkling water just before serving! Perfect holiday drink recipe for everyone!
I started to really enjoy mocktails when I first became pregnant.
But I still really love them. Not that I won't enjoy alcohol at all, but mocktails are amazing to cheer up dry days or to reduce the number of drinks you consume at parties or during the holidays. And this recipe makes for a bubbly non-alcoholic refreshing drink that feels super festive, which will definitively keep you in the celebration mood. Perfect party drink!
And I am pretty proud of this mocktail. It has a nice punch from the ginger, just a little tartness from the cranberries and the freshly squeezed orange juice balances out all the flavor with its sweet zesty touch. Plus, the bubbles give it a nice fizz effect and make for a fun drink your whole family can enjoy.
I made this delicious mocktail recipe keeping in mind the winter celebrations for when fresh cranberries are easy to find everywhere, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve. It is a fun recipe to use the extra cranberries you didn't need for your cranberry sauce!
It makes for 2 drinks, which is perfect if you have one person that you know won't drink alcohol at your party, but can easily be turned into a large pitcher for everyone to enjoy, adults or kids.
The concentrated cranberry orange syrup can be made ahead to simply combine with sparkling water right before serving. This keeps the bubbles from going flat and makes it the perfect festive drink to prepare ahead for a holiday party or any special occasion!
Let me know if you give it a try! ❤️
Holiday fresh cranberry mocktail
I noticed how most cranberry mocktail recipes will require cranberry fruit juice for flavoring. BUT, using fresh cranberries adds so much authentic flavor: the small berries add tartness plus a fresh essence that you won't get if using juice.
Plus, fresh cranberries are super easy to find starting mid-October all through the colder months, which makes this cranberry mocktail perfect for the holiday season but also to enjoy during any winter celebration!
What you'll need
- Fresh cranberries: don't mistake them for dried cranberries, you are looking for small fresh berries. They usually come in bags in the produce section. Frozen cranberries work too!
- Fresh ginger: the ginger adds so much flavor to this drink. Don't use dried powder ginger.
- Oranges: aim for large sweet oranges. You can use any type of oranges you like or have, but my favorites are Navel oranges. Blood oranges or Cara Cara oranges work too. Fresh orange juice opposed to store-bought makes a huge difference when making this drink.
- Maple syrup: or any sweetener of your choice. Simple syrup works too.
- Sparkling water: ginger ale or ginger beer work too.
- Ice cubes, for serving
How to make it: Step-by-Step
Step 1- Simmer
In a small pot, combine the fresh cranberries, ginger slices and water. Keep uncovered and bring to a simmer. After a few minutes, the small fruits will become softer, so you can crush them using the back of a spoon. The mixture is ready after about 7-10 minutes or when at least half of the water has evaporated. You should end up with a juicy coarse fruit purée.
Step 2- Strain
Place a fine mesh colander over a bowl and strain the fruit purée over. Also, pour the orange juice through the colander. This will help get more cranberry juice out of the purée, plus it strains the larger pulps from the orange. Use the back of the spoon to help the juice strain into the bowl. Discard the remaining ginger and large pulps/skins left in the colander.
Step 3- Finish up the concentrated syrup
To the cranberry-orange concentrate, add the maple syrup and stir. This is the fruit syrup that will be used as a base when building your mocktail.
Cover the syrup and transfer to the fridge to chill until ready to use.
Step 4- Make the fizzy mocktail
When ready to make your drink, fill a glass with ice cubes, pour about half of the syrup over and top off with sparkling water (about ½ - ¾ cup). Stir and enjoy!
Cranberry mocktail tips
- I recommend to first peeling the ginger. I found that boiling the unpeeled ginger slices created flakes with the peels with some that were small enough to go through my fine-mesh colander.
- Don't forget to chill your sparkling water ahead so your mocktail is extra frosty.
- Do not combine the cranberry syrup with the sparkling water ahead of time as this can create a flat drink.
- Freeze a few fresh cranberries (they freeze super quickly) ahead of time and use them as ice cubes!
- You can use unsweetened flavored sparkling water, such as lime, orange or grapefruit.
How to make it ahead
The cranberry-orange syrup is best when first chilled before combining it with sparkling water as you don't want to warm up the mocktail. This makes it a perfect mocktail to make ahead when hosting.
Simply make the fruit syrup, transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Also, don't forget to transfer a few cranberries in the freezer to garnish the drink and help keep it cold.
When ready to serve, transfer the syrup to glasses and top off with the sparkling water.
How to make a cranberry mocktail pitcher
You can make the recipe x 4-5 times and simply serve in a beautiful pitcher or punch bowl. Pour the equivalent amount of sparkling water (x 4-5 as well) right into the serving container and add some frozen cranberries, ice cubes and orange slices for a festive look. Display with a ladle and serving glasses around the bowl, so people can serve themselves.
Can I turn this recipe into a cranberry cocktail?
Yes! You can turn this recipe easily into a cocktail by adding a shot of vodka or rum per serving.
Can I use cranberry juice instead of fresh cranberries?
The flavor won't be the same but yes, you can use cranberry juice. Be sure it is not cranberry 'cocktail' as it is filled with sugar.
To make it, simply swap the water and the cranberries for cranberry juice. You won't have to boil the juice for as long as the fresh cranberries: simply simmer the cranberry juice + sliced ginger for 5-7 minutes, just enough to infuse some of the ginger flavors. Then, drain with the orange juice.
Why you will love this recipe
- Easy and very festive drink to serve to your non-drinking friends!
- Made using simple ingredients
- Perfect holiday mocktail packed with favorite seasonal flavors
- Healthy drink made without much added sugar (just a little maple syrup!)
- Rich in vitamin C and made without alcohol
- Delicious flavor combining the tartness of the cranberry with the natural sweetness from oranges
Other holiday recipes you might like
- Vegan TVP meatballs
- Vegan onion gravy
- Oil-free roasted potatoes
- Quinoa, orange and walnut salad
- Vegan cauliflower gratin
- Vegan Hawaiian cheese ball
- Mashed purple sweet potatoes
- Vegan pineapple upside down cake
- Almond flour thumbprint cookies
- Vegan cranberry orange muffins
More mocktail recipes to try
- Passion fruit mocktail
- Watermelon mint mojito mocktail
- Virgin strawberry mocktail
- Pina colada mocktail
- Blueberry lime mojito mocktail
- Grapefruit mocktail (Paloma)
- Mango mocktail
And if you like gingery drinks, then be sure to check out this lemongrass and ginger tea!
I hope you enjoy this cranberry mocktail as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Sparkling Fresh Cranberry Orange Mocktail with Ginger
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 3-4 slices of fresh ginger (about ¼ inch thick each) - peeled
- 2 tbsp maple syrup - or other sweetener
- 2 Navel oranges - juiced
- sparkling water - plain or lime flavored, unsweetened
- ice cubes - for serving
- Transfer the fresh cranberries in a small pot and add the slices of ginger with ¾ cup of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium. Keep uncovered and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the water is half evaporated and the cranberries are soft and start to break apart.
- Then, roughly mash the cranberries to a coarse texture (you can just use a spoon). You should end up with a loose purée.
- Place a fine-mesh colander over a bowl or wide jar and pour the cranberry mixture over. Add the orange juice and use a spoon to help strain. Remove the colander and discard the remaining ginger and fruit pulps. Add the maple syrup to the juice and stir. This is the concentrated syrup.
- Ideally, let the syrup completely cool down in the fridge before enjoying, which makes it a great drink to make ahead.
- When ready to make your drinks, fill 2 glasses with ice cubes, divide the cranberry mixture in between the glasses and add sparkling water over (about ½-¾ cup per drink). Stir and enjoy!
- The concentrated syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Combine with sparkling water only when ready to serve (otherwise your drink can become flat).
- You can freeze a few cranberries ahead to use as ice cubes.
- I recommend to first peel the ginger. I found that boiling the unpeeled ginger slices created flakes with the peels with some that were small enough to go through my fine-mesh colander.
- Don't forget to chill your sparkling water ahead so your mocktail is extra frosty.