Cranberry Cider Cocktail Recipes: Cran-Toddy & Cranberry Cider Cooler

February 22, 2014

Warm up with a Cran-Toddy or stay refreshed with a Cranberry Cider Cooler – two cranberry cider cocktail recipes to enjoy all winter long!

Cranberry Cider Cocktail Recipes Side by Side

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Cocktails are trending and the folks at The Recipe ReDux know it! Which is why this month’s ReDux theme is:

Beverages Are Hot!

That which is served in a mug, glass, or stein is becoming just as interesting as what’s on the plate. New cocktail-only blogs are emerging. Pinners are cooking with their Keurig K-cups. Hot beverages have gone way beyond hot cocoa. Beverages are in! Whether you’re serving something hot or cool, kid-friendly or happy hour worthy, show us your healthier drink.

Over the summer, my husband and I had a lot of fun making different cocktails and mocktails, like this Blueberry Basil Cooler, Mint Mojito, and – my fave brunch drink – Strawberry-Rhubarb Mimosa. So when I saw this month’s Recipe ReDux theme, I was excited to test some new beverage recipes.

I had cranberries in the freezer and apple cider in the fridge, so I decided to try my hand at some cranberry cider cocktail recipes. Since it’s been so cold around here (who else is done with winter?!), I wanted to make something warm, but I also know not everyone loves a hot toddy so I wanted the base of the drink to work for a cold refreshing cocktail as well.

What I ended up with was a mixture that combined with bourbon makes a warming hot toddy, perfect for warming up after hours outside shoveling snow or building a snowman with the kids, and when paired with seltzer or sparkling wine is a refreshing drink for a warmer day.

Cranberry Cider Cocktails Cran Toddy

Ingredients & Preparation

The base of these cranberry cider cocktail recipes is made by simmering apple cider, fresh or frozen cranberries, ginger, whole allspice, and the peel of an orange until an aromatic liquid is formed. The cranberries will burst, which is what accounts for the gorgeous red color of these drinks. You want to keep the base a clear liquid though, so when you strain the ingredients don’t press on the cranberries to get all the pulp out the way you would when making cranberry sauce.

Once you have your base, you can make your Cran-Toddy by combining the cranberry cider mixture with bourbon (or serve it without the alcohol for a warming drink you and the kids can all enjoy). To make a Cranberry Cider Cooler, cool the cranberry cider mixture and top it with Prosecco, Champagne, or seltzer for a mocktail.

I originally made this recipe with crystallized ginger I had in my pantry, but you can easily make it with fresh ginger as well. You shouldn’t need to add any additional sugar or simple syrup to the base of these cranberry cider cocktail recipes since the apple cider is very sweet.

Cranberry Cider Cocktail Recipes Cranberry Cider Cooler

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Warm up or stay refreshed with either of these two cranberry cider cocktail recipes, delicious to enjoy all winter long.

Cran-Toddy & Cranberry Cider Cooler

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Sweet cider simmered with tart cranberries, biting ginger, and aromatic allspice makes a delicious base for two cranberry cider cocktail recipes - a Cran-Toddy and Cranberry Cider Cooler.


  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
  • 5 whole allspice
  • Peel from 1 orange

For a Cran-Toddy:

  • 1 - 1 1/2 ounces Bourbon
  • Orange slices and crystallized ginger for garnish

For a Cranberry Cider Cooler:

  • 4 ounces seltzer, prosecco, or champagne
  • Orange slices and crystallized ginger for garnish


  1. Combine cider, cranberries, ginger, allspice, and orange peel in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Strain cranberry cider mixture.
  2. For a Cran-Toddy: Add bourbon to cranberry cider mixture and serve garnished with orange slices and crystallized ginger.
  3. For a Cranberry Cider Cooler: Pour 2 tablespoons of cranberry cider mixture into the bottom of a champagne glass and top with 4 ounces of either seltzer, Prosecco, or Champagne.
Cranberry Cider Cocktail Recipes Collage with Text Overlay

What’s your beverage of choice?

Would you go for the Cran-Toddy or Cranberry Cider Cooler?

Share with me in the comments below!

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  1. Love, love the spice twists of ginger and allspice! …and love your enthusiasm for the theme…I gotta get more creative this summer with my libations!

  2. Minus the alcohol, I’ve been surprised to find out how much I love cranberry drinks this year!

  3. This sounds so refreshing! It’s perfect for holiday gatherings and I love that you can just leave out the alcohol if you desire and still have a delicious result!

    1. Thanks Laura! It’s a great drink to make for a crowd. Put out a pitcher of the cranberry cider mixture and your various mix-ins and everyone can make her own! Enjoy!

  4. The flavors in this sound so perfect for the season! I’ve not made any type of cocktail in years, but this is enticing me.

  5. I’ve been drooling over these and went to make one and my ginger was a big sticky mess, I don’t even know what happened to it.
    These need to happen this weekend, after my daughter’s sleepover (teenagers!!).

  6. These look DIVINE! Making me thirsty! I am going to have to make these for guests this holiday season. For me, I’ll have to wait until next year when I’m not pregnant! Thank you for the recipe 🙂

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