You might think the Vodka Cranberry drink is simply vodka and cranberry juice, especially since that’s how some bars serve it. Well, some bars are lazy and shameful. This drink actually has four ingredients, and the last two are very important to the flavor.
The real drink recipe
That means this drink recipe is actually a little more complicated than its name might lead you to believe. A proper Vodka Cranberry also uses a touch of Rose’s sweetened lime and some orange juice to bring out the best of the cranberry flavor.
Because vodka doesn’t really change the flavor of the cranberry juice, this cocktail would just taste like straight cranberry juice without some help. The orange and lime add hints of something sharp and bright.
This cocktail recipe is pretty light on the alcohol, so feel free to vary it according to your taste and tolerance. The only alcohol in this drink is vodka, so you can add a little more if you prefer.
You can also leave it out completely when you want a mocktail. That makes it great for parties where some guests might not be drinking.
If you’re making it as a virgin cocktail, you might want to add a little more of the orange and lime to make it extra special. It doesn’t take much – just a few dashes, or maybe half an ounce.
What the Vodka Cranberry drink tastes like
The Vodka Cranberry is sometimes thought of as a beginner’s drink because it’s not very strong and you don’t really taste the alcohol. But it’s a delicious drink for anyone.
The great thing about this drink is how refreshing it is without being strong. The lime and cranberry are both tart, which really wakes up your taste buds. But you also get some sweetness from the dash of orange juice, and that makes it delicious.
Note that some bartenders do make this drink much stronger. The classic recipe only calls for an ounce of vodka, but some put in a good bit more.
When it’s mixed according to this recipe, the only reason you’ll know the vodka is in there is that slight burn you feel as it goes down. And it is really slight.
If you want a regular strength drink, you certainly can bump the vodka up to the standard 1 1/2 ounces without changing the flavor noticeably. If you want your drink on the strong side, bump it up to two ounces of vodka and just reduce the cranberry juice accordingly.
While the Vodka Cranberry might not sound like your usual brunch drink, it actually works because it has such a high ratio of fruit juice to alcohol.
And cranberry juice tastes great with a lot of brunch foods. Try it with omelettes or quiche, or breakfast pastries. It goes surprisingly well with a good cinnamon bun.
A refreshing cocktail
Because this drink contains several ounces of cranberry juice, it’s also refreshing in the sense that it’s truly hydrating. It’s even got a few vitamins in it.
And that makes it great for a night of dancing. It puts back some of the vitamins and hydration you’re sweating out as you enjoy yourself.
It’s also great for a day in hot weather. It’s perfect for poolside or anytime you’re going to be out in the heat.
If you like this drink, you should also check out the Desert Shield, which blends vodka and cranberry with cranberry liqueur. If you want pure cranberry flavor, that’s the drink for you.
There’s also the Crystal Cranberry, which features amaretto, Crown Royal, gin, cranberry juice and more. It does make a change from this drink, but the taste of it is wonderful.
There’s also the C&T Cocktail, which blends cranberry and gin with Absolut Mandarin and more. That one is so good.