What Is a Cranberry Martini?

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  • Written By: Amber Eberle
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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A cranberry martini is a cocktail typically made by combining either vodka or gin with cranberry juice. The ingredients of the drink are usually mixed in a martini shaker with ice. Variations of the basic recipe may call for the addition of an orange liqueur. A martini is generally served in a triangular glass with a stem, and the drink may be garnished with a fresh cranberries or citrus. A cranberry martini tends to be a strong drink, with a high ratio of alcohol.

Vodka or gin is used to make a cranberry martini, depending on personal taste. The alcohol makes up a large part of the drink, so it is recommended that a quality alcohol be used. The gin or vodka is mixed with cranberry juice. Most recipes call for slightly more cranberry juice than alcohol. Bottled cranberry juice is usually used, and juice made from frozen concentrate can also be included.

A martini shaker is used to prepare a cranberry martini. This bar tool consists of a metal or glass cup with a fitted lid that has a screened opening. Ice is added to the martini shaker, followed by the gin or vodka and the cranberry juice. The shaker is covered by the lid and the ingredients are shaken vigorously for at least 10 seconds. Doing this results in an alcoholic beverage that is very cold. The drink is then strained into a glass.


A cranberry martini is typically served in a glass designed to hold a martini. The top of this signature bar glass appears triangular in shape and is connected to a stem that ends in a flat base. For best results, a martini glass is usually chilled to keep the beverage cold. They can be kept in a freezer until use, or they can be filled with ice water to cool the glass.

There are several variations of the basic cranberry martini recipe. Some recipes may call for the addition of orange liqueur or lime juice. A type of cranberry martini, usually called a Cosmopolitan, contains both lime juice and orange liqueur in addition to the other ingredients. If a variation is being made, the extra ingredients are added to the martini shaker with the alcohol and cranberry juice.

This cocktail is typically garnished to enhance its visual appeal. Fresh cranberries may be placed in the bottom of a martini glass, or can be skewered on a toothpick. Other common garnishes include lime wedges or slices, as well as thin orange slices. Citrus garnishes are usually only used if the drink contains lime juice or orange liqueur. To add sweetness to the drink, the martini glass may be rimmed in sugar.


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