Beyond the Cape Codder: 5 Best Cranberry Cocktails

Not that I have anything against vodka and cranberry, for when paired these ingredients make a fine albeit one-dimensional cocktail. Tart and sweet cranberry is so much more versatile as a mixer. Here are five other mixed drinks that really showcase its flavor prowess:

5. Scarlet O'Hara. It's been a while since I've read or watched Gone With the Wind, but I'm pretty sure Scarlet O'Hara consumes her hooch straight-up and not in cocktail form. But technicalities aside, the combination of peach liqueur (usually Southern Comfort), lime, and cranberry juice in this drink makes for a perfect balance of smoke and tartness.

4. Sea Breeze. Pucker up: between the lime, grapefruit, and cranberry juice, you'll definitely be compelled to wrinkle your lips. Thank goodness, though, for the vodka, which quells this urge and relaxes you to the point of craving the acidity...hence why one seabreeze easily turns into three.


3. Purple Haze/Vampire. Also referred to as a "Purple Haze" in some circles, the Vampire cocktail is a groovy mixture of black raspberry liqueur, vodka, and cranberry juice. Its deep aubergine hue leads it to stand out from other sunnier drinks at the bar and thus also distinguishes its consumer, I like to think, as equally dark and mysterious.

2. Poinsettia. A drink named after an extremely poisonous flower? Not so, for poinsettias, despite what your great aunt always told you, are relatively innocuous when eaten by humans and cats. But given a chose between the plant and the bubbly cranberry champagne cocktail, I'd go with the latter.

1. Sunset Boulevard. There's something painfully addictive about the cold, smoky burn of this ginger and cranberry highball that prompts you to guzzle it even when you know in your heart of hearts that whiskey drinks are meant to be sipped slowly. The aptly named Sunset Boulevard is most appropriate for humid for summer evenings, though you don't have to be a past-her-prime silent film star to enjoy them.

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Joanna O'Leary