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The Most Surprising Cocktail Ingredient? Cranberry Sauce

It makes these 3 cocktails a little sweet, a little tart, and super drinkable.

cranberry spritz cocktail
Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Do you only make cranberry sauce once a year for Thanksgiving? We’ll give you a reason to whip up a batch long after the holiday is over: three highly quaffable cocktails. We've experimented with cranberries in drinks before, using the juice in a punch or the fruit in a spritz, shandy, or Moscow mule, but never cranberry sauce. Martha's classic version couldn't be easier to throw together, and more importantly, it's a simple, unexpected way to put a twist on classic cocktails, including the paloma, Manhattan, and kir royale. The sauce lends itself well to all kinds of spirits and can seamlessly take the place of the sweetener in a libation. All you need is a spoonful or two to add a fruity boost—you want a balanced drink, not spiked cranberry sauce!

 

Get the Classic Cranberry Sauce Recipe

 

Cranberry Paloma

A traditional paloma calls for just two ingredients: tequila and grapefruit soda. Here, it's gussied up with a touch of cranberry sauce and a slice of grapefruit, plus margarita salt on the rim.

 

Get the Cranberry Paloma Recipe
cranberry manhattan cocktail
Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Cranberry Manhattan

You won't miss the cherry in this riff on the Manhattan. Cranberry sauce not only plays off the rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters beautifully, but it also tints the drink a striking shade of garnet.

 

Get the Cranberry Manhattan Recipe
cranberry champagne cocktail
Photography by: Bryan Gardner

Cranberry Kir Royale

In this French aperitif, Champagne is typically topped with the black currant liqueur known as crème de cassis. Cranberry sauce (puréed until smooth) and prosecco yield a lower-alcohol cocktail that's just as alluring.

 

Get the Cranberry Kir Royale Recipe