The Christmas cranberry cooler recipe is non-alcoholic, a bit like a punch, and is fun to make from scratch during the holidays.
To make the super, easy, super fast no hassle version, just take these 3 ingredients: 1/4 cup store bought cranberry juice concentrate, 1 TBSP simple syrup, 12 oz. club soda or sparkling water; and put them in a cocktail shaker with 1/2 cup of ice, shake and pour into a glass. That’s it.
But, during the holidays there is more time and it’s more fun (+ tastes better) to make it from scratch and have it be a little more elaborate, or celebratory.
Christmas Cranberry Cooler Recipe
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
- 1 cup 100% cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 cups sparkling water or club soda
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Ice cubes
- Fresh mint leaves for garnish
- Sliced orange or lime for garnish
- In a saucepan, combine fresh cranberries, sugar, and 1/2 cup of water.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the cranberries burst and the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
Strain the mixture to obtain a smooth cranberry syrup. Discard the solids.
- In a large pitcher, mix the cranberry syrup, cranberry juice, orange juice, and fresh lime juice.
Stir well to ensure all the flavors are blended.
- Place the pitcher in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1-2 hours.
- Just before serving, add sparkling water or club soda to the chilled mixture. Adjust the amount according to your desired level of fizziness.
Stir gently to combine.
- Fill glasses with ice cubes to keep the cooler extra cold.
- Pour the Christmas Cranberry Cooler into the prepared glasses.
Garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh mint and a slice of orange or lime.
- Enjoy:Serve your Christmas Cranberry Cooler immediately and enjoy the festive and refreshing flavors!
How Cranberry Xmas Coolers became a Thing
This first part will be quick.
The cranberry was native to North America. Fast forward to the 19th century, and cranberries started making their way onto Xmas tables, in spreads, and making feasts merry.
Suddenly the era of cranberry juices and sauces was upon us and crazy people with nothing else to do wanted to make this humble berry into a refreshing beverage. And so, the foundation of the Christmas Cooler was laid.
The Rise of the Holiday Mocktail
Flashback to the Prohibition era (1920-1933), when the U.S. was drier than a snowman in July. Alcohol was on the naughty list, but folks still wanted something merry to sip on during the holidays. Enter the Mocktail – a non-alcoholic concoction that let you keep the party spirit without the spirits.
Cranberry-based drinks, being super fun, quickly became the go-to for those abstaining from the stronger stuff. The Christmas Cooler, being super red, started making appearances at holiday shindigs, proving that you don’t need booze to have a good time. (*** Yes do you actually).
Now, because the internet still wasn’t born and people were bored, they entertained themselves by trying to make our Christmas Cooler cooler. They were a wild and crazy bunch I tell you. Oranges, lemons, and limes – these fruits not only bring a burst of brightness to the drink but also carry their own stories of global exploration. Which is just as
In the 17th century, citrus fruits became synonymous with winter in Europe. Oranges were a luxury item that found their way into Christmas stockings, symbolizing that you were rich, so people wanted them to look good to others. I’m sure the Kardashians’ ancestors started that. As trade routes expanded, lemons and limes joined the party, and people felt like they were really living it up now!!
Sparkling Water Steps In
As we jump ahead to more recent decades, the Christmas Cooler evolved with the times. Enter the effervescent star of the show – sparkling water or club soda. With its bubbly personality, sparkling water adds a touch of celebration to every sip, turning our Christmas Cooler into a fizzy sensation. Also turning television ads into refreshing drink temptations. You were always thirsty when you saw one.
The DIY Christmas Cooler
Now, my festive friends, as we raise our glasses to the rich history of the Christmas Cooler, let’s bring this story full circle. The beauty of this seasonal sip lies not just in its past but in the endless possibilities of its present and future.
With this recipe you can create your own Christmas Cooler. Gather your favorite cranberries, squeeze some citrusy cheer, add a splash of effervescence, and craft a concoction that reflects your festive spirit.
If you do, you can be a part of the Christmas Cooler history, and who knows, maybe someday in the future, someone will write a blog about your time with this festive, holiday drink rich in tradition.
May your holidays be merry, your cranberries plentiful, and your glasses forever full! 🎄🍹✨ Cheers!