Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail

I spied the original version of this cocktail in Bon Appetit magazine when I received their October issue in September of this year. Though clearly a fall cocktail, at that time we were having a hot streak and the notion of fall or cranberries seemed in the distant future. Fast forward and suddenly 95 degrees would require that we combine our daytime and nighttime temperatures and add some to boot! We’ve had two big snowfalls in Denver and nothing says fall quite like leaves and snow falling at the same time!

I can’t deny I have a strong proclivity to almost anything cranberry. Maybe it was the year I discovered them after a childhood of associating cranberry sauce with a cylindrical form with ring marks embedded in the shape. I HATED that stuff; ergo I hated all things cranberry by association. Luckily I politely tried some fresh cranberry sauce at a friends once; everything changed and now this time each season I look forward to seeing what can be done with these pretties.

This cocktail is not just pretty. Though I do love the festive look that can take us from the day after Halloween all the way to the end of the year, it’s the combination of ingredients that make it spectacular. Cranberry, citrus, ginger ale and, or course, gin all meld together to offer a crisp, not too sweet and altogether refreshing cocktail.

I freely admit I’m a Costcoaholic and buying a bag of cranberries means I have to design several uses. I often have them steeping in a pot on the stove with some cinnamon and orange zest; I love having my home scented for the holidays with something other than a room spray. I also love to decorate my holiday tables with them in bowls of water with floating candles. They float and surround the candles and it makes for a natural and beautiful table decoration.

But you really don’t care about my holiday decor, right? It’s all about the beverage! Beyond the berries, the lemons and orange slices, I think it’s important to use a good quality gin as well as a quality ginger ale. I used Bombay Sapphire gin, it’s my go to gin for cocktails and I’ve also become hooked on Boylan Ginger Ale which I’ve been getting at World Market; a very ginger ale it is!The original recipe called for adding sherry but I substituted ginger ale and it’s perfect…just that little bit of fizz adds a welcome element. But you know what’s important that is probably not often considered for cocktail success? Ice. When my ice maker went on the fritz; I recalled seeing that the local Sonic drive-in sold ice. I bought some to use until my ice maker was repaired and now I can’t stop. I just love the small round pellets that are so crunchable. For this cocktail that requires you mound some ice on top, it’s especially perfect!

I hope you’ll join me and make this drink for the holidays. It’s not just a pretty face. Cheers!

Love Pomegranate too?

Here’s a similar recipe for a Pomegranate and Rosemary Gin Fizz that is another stellar holiday cocktail.

Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A gorgeous cocktail for the holidays and beyond!
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • ½ orange, cut into slices
  • 1½ cups dry gin - Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater or Tangueray suggested
  • 1 cup chilled Ginger Ale
  • 4 mint springs
  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; pour off all but one cup of syrup, reserving any extra for another use.
  2. Heat the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst. Remove from heat and let cool in syrup.
  3. Place 2 Tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 Tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.
  4. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.
  5. Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Strain into a medium pitcher.
  7. Fill 4 glasses with crushed ice and ¼ cup ginger ale.
  8. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then pour half the cranberry mixture into the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds, strain liquid into two glasses. Repeat.
  9. Mound additional ice on top of each glass and garnish with 3 candied cranberries and a mint sprig
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 cocktails

A few of my favorite cranberry recipes:


  1. Jerry says

    Has anyone tried this without the gin and with a quality ginger “beer” for a more robust ginger flavor? We have forsworn alcohol for the holidays, but are looking for good drinks to incorporate in our celebration.
    Thanks for any input.

    I should have spent some time reading the 115 comments before I leaped. All good inputs.

  2. Jerry says

    Has anyone tried this without the gin and with a quality ginger “beer” for a more robust ginger flavor? We have forsworn alcohol for the holidays, but are looking for good drinks to incorporate in our celebration.
    Thanks for any input.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I have mentioned to someone wanting a non alcohol version that they could just up the ginger ale but the ginger beer is a great idea Jerry; I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would be perfect.

  3. Melissa says

    This looks yummy! I would love to try it for Thanksgiving but serve it pitcher style. Ice bucket on the side. Would it be alright to double the recipe, prep an hour before company arrives, then let sit for company to fix at their leisure? Or does it need to be served immediately?

    • Creative Culinary says

      I would suggest that you can do exactly as you suggested except for one thing; if you can hold off on adding the ginger ale until your company is due to arrive it would be best. It’s what provides the carbonation (the fizz in the name!) and I’m afraid it might go flat if it were sitting out for too long. Have everything else prepped and chilled and then add the ginger ale as late as possible and I think it would be great. It’s a great drink…so hope you and your company enjoy it!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I would make it simple and just eliminate it and add a bit more ginger ale. If you didn’t want the additional ginger element; then maybe a bit of either cranberry juice or some club soda? I think any of those would make it a great mocktail! Let me know if you do something and if you like the results, OK?

    • Creative Culinary says

      We just love it; not a heavy and overly boozy cocktail, it sings with the combination of the cranberry and ginger ale and it’s just the perfect look. Hope you love it too…you can comment again!!

  4. Suzie DeMarco says

    Just pinned this beautiful cocktail and the photography is great! Are the glasses yours and if so do you recall were you purchased them? Just perfect!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Suzie, the glasses are mine but were a gift almost 30 years ago…so I have no idea where they came from! They are a favorite I won’t deny and sure wish I could help. The cocktail is really good too…and as you can see, so perfect for a holiday cocktail. Enjoy!

  5. Renee says

    Not sure if anyone else has suggested it yet, but since you live in the Denver area, try Cap Rock gin. It’s the best gin I’ve had and local (as well as organic) to boot!

  6. says

    We posted your festive drink and your BLOG on our website. I hope it brings you new followings to your website that we think is fabulous!!! have a Merry Christmas!!
    Terra of

  7. Carrie says

    I made these for a family Christmas celebration. I’m always in charge of bringing a cocktail, and these were a huge hit!..Sonic ice and all! I did sub vodka for gin as I’m not a gin drinker and didn’t want to have any left over. But it turns out that we loved these so much that I wouldn’t have had to worry about that b/c in the end we ran out of vodka. I’m happy to say that they looked just as lovely as in your pictures.

    • Creative Culinary says

      So glad you loved the cocktail too and it was such a success for you. Vodka…absolutely! Or guess I should say Absolut!

  8. Julie says

    What kind of ice maker do you have to make that kind of ice? I have been looking for a ‘crushed’ ice maker- but the size you have in the pictures looks perfect. Love the recipe and the site- thanks!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Julie, I have no idea what kind it is because mine is broken and I have become totally addicted to ice from the local Sonic Drive In; they sell their ice by the bag and I love it so much I’ve not considered getting my ice maker repaired. They are right next to the bank I use for business so very convenient to pick up a bag every week. I should probably get my icemaker fixed but not sure if that is smart because I know I’ll still want an ice bin filled with these perfect cubes!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I think I sent you a personal response but thought I would answer here too! I go to Sonic Drive In for my ice. My ice maker broke, I saw they sold bags of ice and now I don’t want to get it repaired cause I love their ice better than what my ice maker produces. So for me? Sonic it is.

  9. Alannah says

    This was so much sticky work, and not at all worth it. It was too sweet, which was worsened by the ginger ale, and the cranberry flavor lost its tartness to the sugary syrup. We switched from ginger ale to club soda to kick a bit of the sweetness, but eventually were adding cranberry juice to get some of the tartness back. This really begged for a gingery kick– something more like a ginger syrup.

    Ounce measurements are much more useful to drink recipes, but that’s mainly the fault of the Bon Appetit original.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I didn’t experience that at all but it was important to use a good gingery ale which I suggested. Most grocery brands are almost like 7-up and way too sweet. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Leave out all alcohol or need a substitute for the gin? If subbing the gin, vodka would also be good. If leaving out entirely then I would just add a bit more ginger ale to the other ingredients.

  10. Sara says

    Tried this recipe last night and it is delicious!!! Not too sweet and has a great taste. But watch out…the flavors disguise the alcohol so enjoy slowly! ;) I will definitely be making this again.

    • Creative Culinary says

      You’re in luck because I just recently purchased those coasters online through Pottery Barn. They have a whole line of antique looking serverware; I got these, an ice scoop and a set of salt and pepper shakers.

  11. Rachel says

    I have a question: Would it taste okay if I were to let the gin and cranberry mixture steep over night in my fridge? I am trying to make this drink in advance.

    • Creative Culinary says

      So sorry I got to this late…hope you did it because I think everything is doable ahead of time except for adding the ginger ale. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

  12. Maria says

    This drink looks divine! Would it be terrible to replace the gin with vodka? Has anyone tried that? I will be making this for Thanksgiving!

    • Creative Culinary says

      I would have no problem switching those two out Maria; I haven’t done it but would if I didn’t have gin in the house.

  13. says

    I would like – maybe – to give your recipie with picture on my blog…Is it Ok for you ?
    If yes could you you tell me the photo credit/name of photographer of your Cranberry Ginger Fiiz Cocktail ?
    Tahnk you and happy sunday ! Martine;

  14. Lara Kate says

    Wow! I love this. It is perfect for my Christmas party coming up, but I made a mini batch today and loved it. Thank you. I have to ask, how do you get that kind of ice? It looks like the ice from some restaurants, but is it possible to have at home, too? (Thanks in advance.)

    I found you from Pinterest, but I have bookmarked your site and will be back frequently!

    • Creative Culinary says

      They really are good aren’t they Lara…not just a pretty face is right huh?

      Funny story. My ice maker went on the fritz so I started buying bags of ice from Sonic; they sell them for about $2/bag. I love it so much I never got the icemaker fixed. So if you have a Sonic drivein in your neck of the woods; that’s their ice. One caution? It’s little and starts to melt fast so I keep a cooler in my car for my ice runs. Regular ice would never present so well but if you are stuck with it I just wouldn’t pile any up on top I guess?

      • Lara Kate says

        THANK YOU ever so much. There is a Sonic not too far from here but getting ice will make it a priority to get there.
        Thanks again and all the very best to you.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Jen. I’m in the process of making cranberry liqueur right now. If you love cranberry you should try it; so good and a bonus? So pretty too.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Aw Sylvie, a woman after my own heart….it is horrid stuff isn’t it. I’m trying to think but just can’t recall the brand they said is most often bought…but I’ve been using Boylan and am happy with it; it’s certainly far beyond the grocery store brands; that’s all I know. Would certainly recommend it’s worth your trying.

  15. Jennifer says

    Hi! Gorgeous drink. Someone is taking your content – thought you might like to know. Not this post & there may be others but this is your picture & recipe reposted from one of your soups.

    You can report them by clicking on “Report Page” on the lower left of their main wall, or by filling in this page: Don’t bother trying to reason with her, she doesn’t think she is doing anything wrong.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Doggone it…I could use one now too but am already ensconced in my bedroom. The comfort of being cozy tonight wins!

  16. says

    Love Friday and cocktails. Heck, all weekend. This looks amazing, Barb. I love seasonal drinks and this looks like it tastes incredible. Perfect for the holidays! Beautiful.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks much Mike; I’ve come to really enjoy these posts; nice that there is no limit to cocktails to be made. Or to be drunk. :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      Then you would love this cocktail Dara. The original recipe called for sherry and that didn’t even sound good; it’s perfect with ginger ale.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Heather…sometimes they come together and sometimes I need a drink when I’m done…this was nice. I had both. :)

  17. Questa Knapper says

    That looks heavenly… Another use for fresh cranberries… Dip them (quickly) in melted white chocolate/almond bark or dark chocolate… Tart and sweet and crisp little bite… Yummy.. They are a staple within my cookie plates and given in a little tin within a gift basket… :D

    • Creative Culinary says

      On my…I know I’ll love these and you are so right…all of my holiday gifts are homemade goodies; these would be a perfect addition. Thanks!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you so much Shelby; compliments on my photos mean the world to me. I’m a cook who is trying to learn this whole photography business. Completely self taught, it’s a long road so when I get a good review; well, you’ve made my day!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Well, you have not so thank you so much Lindsay…you’ve made my day! When you do get one made, be sure to add it to my blog; I post a cocktail and that link tool every Friday; you can add a cocktail or an appetizer when you have one. Old or new I don’t care!

    • Creative Culinary says

      You are too cute. I actually have some tall cylindrical glass holders. Three different sizes. I put cranberries in each one with water and a floating round candle and then tie a decorative bow around each. That the cranberries float is what makes it so pretty and that they are bornn into water is nice too…they stay for quite awhile. I just rinse them off and put in fresh water every couple of days. That’s my centerpiece!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks…I admit I’ve become somewhat of a cranberryaholic too. I just can’t get enough of them and am sad when the season is over.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Those little candied berries for garnish…they are most definitely a treat. I’m making cranberry liqueur now too; talk about great berries…the chopped berries that are strained out are NOT pitched…they are soooo good, those little vodka soaked gems.

    • Creative Culinary says

      You must try making your own cranberry sauce too Carrie; it’s so easy and so beyond better than anything you can buy.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I know it would. You can tell the gin is there but it’s so subtle, I would serve this ‘virgin’ in a heartbeat and it would still be great.

  18. says

    Ron was just getting ready to take Max for a walk and I had to call him over to look at the picture of your cocktail. We both agree it is absolutely stunning! What a lovely holiday drink and so pretty and full of good cheer (no pun intended, I meant the look of it makes me smile).

    By the way, I love hearing about your holiday decorations and the floating candles with cranberries is a new and lovely idea I just may use ;)
    Paula Most Recent Post: Christmas Trees Made with Royal Icing

    • Creative Culinary says

      Been there…mine are brewing now; easiest doggone thing in the world AND I love the leftover vodka soaked cranberries.

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Kristina…you know how sometimes you know yourself that one is good? I just loved the results of this effort too; it so catches how this cocktail tastes!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Well, glad to have you come visit Jenny. I do a new cocktail every Friday; so hope you’ll come back! Cheers.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I have even gone so far as to calculate whether it’s worth getting the ice maker fixed. 18 year old fridge + $2/bag for ice X how many years the fridge will last = is the ice maker worth spending money on for repair? Yes, I love this ice a lot!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks so much for participating Deeba and don’t forget, appetizers are welcome too…hope to see you for our Friday cheer on a regular basis; wish we could clink glasses for real!

  19. says

    What a beautiful cocktail. Such a gorgeous color. I used to always associate cranberries with bladder infections (I know, TMI, but you know me) so I wasn’t a big cranberry lover until I discovered fresh berries too. I have to admit that I always have the jellied stuff to slice and put on leftover turkey sandwiches. Childhood memories you know.
    Karen Harris Most Recent Post: A Steaming Hot Bowl of Blasphemy: Shortcut Pho Bo

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you my dear…we’ll have to share one together. I added a list of links to some of my fave cranberry recipes this morning…the sandwich with cranberry sauce is one of my favorites too.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I added a couple of my favorite cranberry recipes to the post as an afterthought…and now I want everything…but I have to admit, the sandwich the day after Thanksgiving is what I crave way more than the turkey. Turkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese, sprouts and sunflower seeds. Wish I had one now!

  20. says

    I’m with you completely on the cranberry thing. I also think frankly at this time of year everyone is dehydrated from over boozing and over caffienating and thus the refreshing zing of cranberries is very thirst quenching. I find pink to be a very appealing color in my food and drinks. There IS no happier looking cupcake than one with pink frosting, right? This drink just presents itself as a new holiday season best friend. Someone who will happily spend cocktail hour with you every night and you’ll never tire of their company. Love your refreshing addition of ginger ale. Can’t ever go wrong with that! Love this.
    Boulder Locavore Most Recent Post: Chipotle Sweet Potato Gratin

    • Creative Culinary says

      I’m hearing people who are committed to the canned stuff..sort of makes me cringe just thinking about it but for me it’s all texture. I’ve never much cared for jello…even if you add booze to it! This was most definitely a winner. And those little candied berries for garnish. Beyond edible.


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