The Cranberry Martini is a sweet and slightly tart festive cocktail, made with a homemade cranberry shrub to give it a little bit of zing. This Cranberry Martini, Crantini if you will, is an easy and delicious cocktail to serve over the holidays, with only a few ingredients needed you can’t go wrong. I also give you my recipe for a super simple cranberry shrub (aka drinking vinegar), a great cocktail ingredient that will take your Cranberry Martini to the next level – spoiler alert: it’s REALLY easy to make at home and makes a great gift too!
Can you believe it’s almost Christmas time?! Where has the year gone? I swear, the older you get the faster the time goes by! The calendar doesn’t lie though, so it’s definitely time to start getting ready for the holidays! And I don’t know about you, but I need a few festive cocktails to get my Christmas spirit going – this Cranberry Martini is perfect for that! Cranberries are wonderful this time of year, and certainly not just for Thanksgiving! Here in the UK we don’t have Thanksgiving, so the turkey and all things cranberry are reserved for Christmas. Besides, you cannot deny how festive the colour of this Cranberry Martini is – it’s totally going to get you into the Christmas spirit just by looking at it!
This Cranberry Martini is a little more special than most of your average Cranberry Martini! What makes this Crantini special I hear you ask? The homemade Cranberry Shrub! A shrub is a drinking vinegar flavoured with fruits, florals, herbs or spices and is a great addition to many cocktails, it adds a little sweet tang to your drink and brings a whole new flavour profile to the mix. Making shrub at home is really easy, and there are a couple of ways to do it. My friend Dini, over at The Flavor Bender shows you a great way to make a cold shrub to get really fresh and vibrant flavours, and I used her recipe as a guide for mine. However, my cranberry shrub does wander off the traditional path a little, as cranberries don’t seem to like to let go of their juices very easily! Instead of steeping my cranberries in sugar to draw out the juices first, I roughly blended the cranberries with the sugar and let the whole mixture steep in the vinegar for a week – not the usual method but it totally works like a charm! You can also make shrub using the hot method which involves making a simple syrup with the fruit first!
I like my martinis on the dry side, so along with the gin and cranberry shrub, this Cranberry Martini has a touch of dry vermouth. It’s finished off with a couple dashes of orange bitters for a Crantini that you’re going to love to serve over and over this holiday season. And if you prefer you martinis on the sweet side, you can for sure switch out the vermouth for a sweet one – just don’t serve it me! Who I’m kidding, I’d totally drink a sweet Cranberry Martini too and I would love it!
Have you started getting ready for the holidays yet? Are you the kind of the person that plans everything way in advance, or are you a last-minute-shopping-on-Christmas-eve kind of person? I’m somewhere in the middle, I have the best of intentions to get everything sorted ahead of time but Christmas inevitably sneaks up on me and I go into a last minute panic on the 23rd! How about other festive holidays this time of year? Are you prepping for Hanukkah yet? I’ve never celebrated it myself, but I get the impression it requires a lot more planning than Christmas! Whatever you’re up to this festive season, I have a lot of yummy recipes coming your way to help you through, so don’t forget to subscribe below so you don’t miss any recipes (and as a Brucey Bonus you get my free e-book too!).
Let’s get mixing!
Cranberry Martini (The Crantini)
Yield 2 cocktails
The Cranberry Martini is a sweet and slightly tart festive cocktail, made with a homemade cranberry shrub to give it a little bit of zing. Includes a recipe for homemade cranberry shrub
For the cranberry shrub (makes 1/2 cup approx):
- 2.5 cups (250g) fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- Peel of 1 orange, without the pith
- 1/2 cup (120ml) good quality apple cider vinegar
For the cranberry martini:
- 3.5oz gin
- 1 oz cranberry shrub
- 0.75 oz dry vermouth
- 4 dashes of orange bitters
- Fresh cranberries and orange twist to garnish
To make the cranberry shrub:
- Put the cranberries and sugar in a large glass or ceramic bowl, and roughly blend with an immersion blender (to the consistency of a chunky salsa - think pico de gallo!). Can also be done in a regular food processor if you don't have an immersion blender.
- Add the orange peel and pour the vinegar over the top and stir together.
- Cover and leave in the fridge, well covered, for a week. Stir at least once a day.
- Strain the vinegar through a fine mesh sieve. Then strain again through cheese cloth/muslin to make sure it's nice and smooth (see notes for a top tip!).
- Pour into a sterilised bottle or jar, and store in the fridge. Will keep for at least a month.
To make the cranberry martini:
- Add all the martini ingredients to a shaker with a small handful of ice.
- Shake until chilled
- Strain into two chilled martini glasses
- Garnish with fresh cranberries on a cocktail stick, and an orange peel twist.
The shrub will keep well in the fridge. The longer you keep it, the more the flavours will balance. Can also be used to make soft drinks - just add a splash to soda water or tonic!
If you don't have any muslin/cheese cloth to hand, lining a sieve or funnel with paper towels is a great alternative!
Calorie information is generated by a third party app.
Serving Size 1 drink
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.