This Simple Cranberry Orange Mocktail is a great drink any time of year, but especially during the winter months. Maybe you are looking for the best non-alcoholic beverage for your Christmas Eve or Christmas day get-together? This simple-to-make mocktail is it.
This cranberry orange mocktail is the simple drink your holiday table has been missing. We put so much effort into the food for our festivities, and the beverages deserve a chance to shine too! This recipe combines two seasonal flavors for a delightful and refreshing drink that your whole family will enjoy.
Not only does this mocktail taste fantastic, but it also looks stunning! The dark red color complements any holiday theme, and the inviting sugared cranberries add a sparkle that takes it to the next level. This delicious drink is the perfect mocktail for everything from enjoying Christmas dinner to toasting on New Year's Eve.
What Makes This Mocktail So Good?
Seasonal Flavor Combination-Well, cranberry orange. That says it all, doesn't it?? They are so good together and the best combo for the winter months. Cranberry season starts in October, so you'll be able to find them in stores throughout the holiday season.
Easy to make- If you use it for a party as I always do, this is the easiest thing you will be preparing. It comes together quickly so there’s no need to prep it beforehand. I would suggest simply leaving the unopened bottles together and then mixing them up right before dinner for the best taste and most bubbly drink.
Dose of Vitamin C- Both cranberry juice and orange juice are excellent sources of vitamin C! That's definitely a great thing during the cold months when we all need an extra boost.
Cranberry and orange are perfect for getting you into a festive mood. For more cranberry orange deliciousness, check out my cranberry orange muffins, cranberry orange swirled brioche loaf, and vegan cranberry sauce with orange!
The best part of this drink is how simple it is. There doesn't need to be a lot of planning or stress. Grab three easy to find items from the store, and you're done! Check it off the list, and it is ready to go. Not everything about meal planning and party planning needs to feel overwhelming!
So, what exactly will you need? Are you ready for this?
- Cranberry Juice- For the best flavor, you'll want to use 100% pure cranberry juice, not a cranberry juice cocktail. Cranberry cocktails can have a mixture of juices or added sugars. I love RW Knudsen for this recipe. It's unsweetened and doesn't have any preservatives or artificial flavors.
- Orange Juice- Fresh orange juice has a great flavor that's worth the extra effort to make. Fresh squeezed orange juice is best made with Valencia or navel oranges because they're big and juicy. But don't worry, if you're short on time or would rather not deal with the mess, store-bought orange juice works just fine. Look for brands that use 100% orange juice to give you the best taste and the least amount of added sugars. You can make your drink look and smell even more fresh with an orange slice as garnish.
- Vanilla or cream soda- This soda adds a creamy taste to this cranberry orange Mocktail. I like to use Henry Winehard's, which comes in individual bottles. You can also use ginger ale or lemon-lime soda if you prefer. However, the vanilla cream soda elevates this drink and gives it much more flavor than a light-colored soda. You can also use sparkling water if you don't want to use soda.
- Sugared Cranberries- optional, but they make a pretty topping. Sugared cranberries are fresh cranberries dipped in simple syrup and rolled in sugar until well coated. They give the cranberries a frosted look. If you prefer, you can also skewer cranberries on toothpicks for an easier option.
How To Make the Cranberry Orange Mocktail
In a large punch bowl or large pitcher, pour in the cranberry juice, orange juice, and soda. Mix them gently to combine. Whisking or stirring excessively may make the soda go flat. You will only need to swirl or use a spatula to combine gently.
Once your cranberry mocktail is mixed, you can choose how you'd like to garnish and serve it. I love garnishing with candied cranberries or an orange slice for a festive presentation.
This is a really pretty drink and perfect for decorating the holiday table.
If you're scaling the recipe, you want to use 1 part cranberry juice and 1 part orange juice to 3 parts soda or sparkling water.
I topped our drinks with candied cranberries. Yes, this is extra. It took a little more time, but it was worth it.
To make fresh cranberries glisten, you'll need to make a simple syrup and roll them in granulated sugar.
To make the simple syrup, use 1 part granulated sugar and 1 part water. For example, ½ cup of sugar to ½ cup of water. Then, you'll add the mixture to a saucepan and cook over medium heat to dissolve the sugar. That's it!
Pour the simple syrup over the cranberries and gently toss to coat. Spread the cranberries on a cooling rack and allow them to sit for about 45 minutes.
Then, sprinkle the cranberries with granulated sugar and gently toss to coat.
Once that layer has been set for a while, I sprinkle on a touch more sugar. The sugared cranberries hold well for several days, so they can be made in advance. In this drink, they sit perfectly on top of the ice.
This drink is quick to make so I wouldn’t prepare it ahead of time. Instead, I recommend making it right before you are ready to serve immediately. You do this to preserve carbonation. In addition, the flavors taste better when served right away.
If you are using the sugared cranberries, I don't recommend adding them until right as you’re ready to serve. Otherwise, the sugar crystals will dissolve and just aren't as pretty.
If you want to skip making the sugared cranberries, you can also just skewer a few fresh cranberries to dress up the drink and place it across the serving glasses.
FAQ Cranberry Orange Mocktail
If you are new to the flavor combination, let me just say, YES! They are so good together. A true match made in heaven. Cranberries are naturally tart, and orange juice is sweet, so they balance each other really well.
It sure is! An 8-ounce cup provides almost 40% of your vitamin C recommended daily allowance. Just be sure you grab pure cranberry juice and not a cranberry juice cocktail that has extra sugar.
In this case, it is vanilla soda or sparkling water. Whichever you prefer will work great!
Be sure to wash the oranges first. Then, you'll want to use a paring knife to slice them into ⅛ to ¼-inch thick slices. Cut a single slit down from the center down through the peel and use this to hold the rim of the glass.
There are plenty of juice and soda options, so mix it up if you feel inclined. Pineapple juice will give you a sweetness similar to orange juice but will taste more acidic. The same goes for grapefruit juice. While it does work, the flavor combination isn't as ideal because grapefruit is naturally very tart.
More Mocktail Options
- Raspberry Mojito Mocktail
- Mint Grapefruit Mocktail
- Watermelon Mocktail
- Nectarine Shrub
- Virgin Pina Colada
Cranberry Orange and Vanilla Mocktail
- 1 cup pure cranberry juice
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 4 cups vanilla soda We prefer Henry Winehards vanilla cream, but use your favorite if you have another!
- In each of your servings glasses add ¼ cup cranberry juice, ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, and 1 cup vanilla cream soda.
- Mix gently. Serve chilled with ice or room temp. They are good both ways!
- I like top mine with candied cranberries for decorations or even orange slices.
- These are best served immediately.