When it comes holiday style, are you all about the sparkle or the sweatpants? Pour yourself an easy-to-make (and even easier to drink!) Cranberry St. Germain Cocktail, and let’s discuss.

Easy and festive cranberry cocktail served with a lime wedge and cranberries

The sparkle attracts me. After all, what other time of year could I feasibly don a glittery skirt or a light-up snowman sweater and be right on trend?

Then, I flash forward to my feelings every year after my family’s four-day, multi-dinner holiday feast extravaganza. The only sparkle I want is the shiny stripe down the side of my sweatpants.

Fortunately for us, with cranberry St. Germain cocktails in hand, we’ll be party pretty no matter what we are wearing! The sparkly lime sugar on the rim says so.

These cranberry cocktails are not only incredibly refreshing; they’re beautiful. This easy holiday drink recipe will be the finishing special touch to your holiday party spread (or sip one joyfully on the couch while watching your favorite Christmas movie).

No matter the occasion (or your attire), I’m certain these cranberry cocktails will be a smashing success!

Festive holiday cocktails served with lime and cranberries

The Best Holiday Drink

When the holiday season begins and you start planning festive gatherings, a series of questions may fill your mind. What are holiday drinks? What is the best drink for Christmas? What is a traditional Christmas drink?

In my opinion, this cranberry St. Germain cocktail is one the best drinks for the holidays.

  • It’s easy, festive, and instantly makes me feel more elegant.
  • The red color and sparkly green rim are on-point.
  • You can make it in as large of a quantity as you need and prep it in advance, making it an ideal holiday drink for parties.
  • The ingredients are simple: vodka, lime, cranberry juice, and St. Germain. You don’t even have to make simple syrup!
Cranberry St. Germain cocktails with sugar rims and lime wedges

How to Make Cranberry St. Germain Cocktail

The Ingredients

  • Vodka. Vodka works well here in this cocktail recipe, because it’s flavorless and lets the other flavor shine. Also, I find that when I am making drinks for a crowd, vodka tends to be the most universally accepted.
  • St. Germain. If you’ve never tasted it and are wondering what kind of alcohol St. Germain is, it’s an elderflower liqueur. Elderflower tastes mildly floral, delicate, and delightful. It adds an airiness and subtle sweetness to cocktails. There are other brands of elderflower liqueur available, but St. Germain is the gold standard and the one I recommend.
  • Cranberry Juice. This drink is a bit of a twist on a cosmo, done better. The cranberry is sweet, but not too sweet and fruity. Plus, it’s the perfect shade of red to make the perfect Christmas drink.
  • Lime. Lime pops with the cranberry, and it adds a festive green touch. Use lime juice in the cocktail and the zest to rim the glasses.
  • Frozen Cranberries. A beautiful garnish, and they help keep your drink cool.
  • Sugar. My sweet and fun addition to the rim of the glasses.
A bottle of vodka and St. Germain for making cocktails

The Directions

  1. Combine lime zest and sugar. Use it to rim the glasses.
A cocktail glass dipped in sugar on a plate for making festive cranberry St. Germain cocktail
  1. Add drink ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and pour into the glass. Garnish as desired, and ENJOY!

Making This Cranberry Cocktail for a Crowd

  • If you’re making this recipe for a large crowd, increase recipe yield as needed to accommodate your guests. Then, pour your prepared drink into a pitcher for easy serving, and chill in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.
  • You can mix all the drink ingredients together except the lime juice up to 8 hours before the party and refrigerate until time to serve. Then, cut the limes wedges, add the lime juice, and prepare the sugar mixture about 2 hours before.
  • To Serve. Prepare each cocktail glass by dipping it into the sugar mixture or allow guests to dip their own. Set out the lime wedges and frozen cranberries so guests can garnish their drinks as they please. (I like to dip part of the glasses into the sugar mixture and leave some plain. That way my guests can choose whichever they prefer.)
Delicious and festive cranberry St. Germain cocktail served in glasses with lime

Recipe Adaptations and More Ideas for St. Germain

  • Cranberry St. Germain Cocktails with Gin. Swap gin for the vodka in this recipe. To make it a St. Germain gin and tonic, omit the cranberry juice and add tonic water instead.
  • St. Germain Cocktail with Prosecco. For an equally delicious cocktail without the cranberry twist, try my sparkling St. Germain Cocktail, which is made with prosecco or with champagne. You also can top this recipe with a splash of sparkling wine.
  • St. Germain Margarita. Another one of my favorite ways to enjoy St. Germain is in this refreshing St. Germain Margarita.
A delicious and festive holiday cocktail served with lime wedges and cranberries

More Traditional Holiday Cocktails

Before your family arrives for the holidays (or tonight when you get home), mix up a big pitcher of these cranberry St. Germain cocktails, shake, pour, and sip. Whatever your choice of holiday attire, these ruby-red quenchers are sure to match.

Delicious cranberry St. Germain cocktails on a plate with lime slices and cranberries

Recommended Tools for Making Cranberry St. Germain

  • Cocktail Shaker. This one is a beautiful stainless steel, and it has a max fill line to prevent overfilling.
  • Jigger. This helps ensure you have the perfectly portioned pour every time.
  • Pitcher. A beautiful way to serve this cocktail for a crowd.
Two glasses of cranberry St.Germain cocktails with lime wedges

Cranberry St. Germain Cocktail

5 from 5 votes
A St. Germain cocktail that’s party perfect for the holidays! St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, lime, and cranberry combine for a light and floral cocktail that sparkles. Make a single serving or prepare in a larger pitcher to serve a crowd.

Total: 5 mins

Servings: 1 cocktail

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lime (zest and 1/2 ounce juice)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar for rimming glass
  • Ice cubes
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • Frozen cranberries for serving

Instructions
 

  • Zest 1/2 of the lime into a small bowl and combine with rimming sugar, rubbing the sugar and zest together with your fingers until fragrant. Sprinkle onto a small plate. Cut the lime into wedges, then use one to wet the edge of the serving glass. Gently tap the edge of the glass into the sugar, coating well. Set aside.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add vodka, elderflower liqueur, cranberry juice, and 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice. Shake vigorously to combine and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and frozen cranberries and serve.

Notes

  • If you’re making this recipe for a large crowd, increase recipe yield as needed to accommodate your guests. Then, pour your prepared drink into a pitcher for easy serving, and chill in the refrigerator until your guests arrive.
  • You can mix all the drink ingredients together except the lime juice up to 8 hours before the party and refrigerate until time to serve. Then, cut the limes wedges, add the lime juice, and prepare the sugar mixture about 2 hours before.
  • TO SERVE: Prepare each cocktail glass by dipping it into the sugar mixture or allow guests to dip their own. Set out the lime wedges and frozen cranberries so guests can garnish their drinks as they please. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktailCalories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin C: 7mg

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For a trip down memory lane, here’s a photo of this cocktail from when I originally posted this recipe in 2015.
Cranberry St. Germain Cocktail

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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33 Comments

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  1. I love that we both went for the cranberry cocktails today. Between that and sweatpants, we sure know how to holiday. ;) Cheers, friend!

  2. YUM! I’m all about the sparkle AND sweatpants. I’d be glad to enjoy one of these babies while wearing either! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  3. Lovely! I mix St Germain and champagne as my specialty drink for my open house for the Muses parade at Carnival time. I like this holiday recipe and will have to try it! Thank you!

  4. You and Steph are killing me today with the cranberry cocktails!! This looks so good and I think should be in my hand all TWO days of thanksgiving!

  5. I love the idea of this cocktail! St Germain is so delicious and will definitely add sparkle. I laughed at your one time ensemble with a belt. I get it girl!

  6. I absolutely adore St.Germain! It is one of my favorite spirits to add to any drink. These are so festive and fun, love them Erin!

  7. I adore St Germain, it’s one of my all-time favourites. The combination of elderflower with cranberry and lime sounds delicious Erin! Oh, and you are SO RIGHT about holiday cringeworthiness. I love it. Antlers, sparkles, knitted sweaters (or printed holiday t-shirts in Australia) and tinsel. So fun xxx

  8. Perfect timing! I wanted this recipe!!! I had one of these (okay, I had TWO) at the Nordstrom holiday party on Thanksgiving weekend, and I asked what was in it. I’ve been dying to recreate it, and you just made it very easy on me with the proper proportions and everything! YAY!

  9. Sounds so yummy and looks beautiful! I’ve got some Cranberry Vodka on hand, so I’m going to try it in this recipe; I think i’ll just cut back on amount of cranberry juice (just a splash for color) …and I think it would work. Can’t wait to taste it!!

  10. I made this for a girlfriends holiday get together. I just quadrupled everything (which almost makes it easier to make). It was so beautiful and delicious! Thanks for a unique and beautiful cocktail recipe!5 stars

  11. It would be very helpful if you gave the amount of each ingredient. It’s wonderful to know that I need gin, St Germain etc but what is the ratio?

    1. Hi Brenda, If you scroll to the recipe card you will find all of the amounts for each ingredient. There is even a “jump to recipe” button at the top to help you get there faster. Hope this helps!