Sweet and tart cranberries pair with gin’s piney astringency to craft simple, yet elegant drinks. A gin and tonic gets an upgrade with the addition of cranberry juice or muddled cranberries, and gin topped with cranberry juice and a carbonated beverage creates a smashing gin fizz. A few drops of bitters or splashes of citrus fruit juice provide a complementary complexity that allows you to create a custom cocktail.
Cranberry Gin and Tonic
Cranberry juice livens up an ordinary gin and tonic, adding a sweet and refreshing tartness. Follow a simple ratio of 1 part gin to 2 parts cranberry juice to 2 parts tonic water to create a single drink, or increase the amounts to make multiple servings. Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail glass filled with ice; add a splash of lime juice and stir. Garnish with a wedge of lime or a couple of frozen cranberries if you would like. Muddled cranberries -- either fresh or frozen, slightly thawed -- brighten up a gin and tonic in lieu of cranberry juice.
Cranberry Gin Fizz
Light, fizzy and refreshing, a cranberry gin fizz can be prepared with any carbonated beverage you like. Try combining an ounce of gin with 2 ounces of club soda and 3 ounces of cranberry juice in a cocktail glass filled with ice, stirring to combine. Adjust the amounts to suit your tastes. Instead of club soda, you can use sparkling water or a lemon-lime soft drink to add effervescence to the cocktail. A splash of lemon and lime juice adds a vibrant acidity that complements the cocktail’s flavors.
Cranberry Gin Martini
Simple and elegant, quality ingredients are the key to a superb cranberry gin martini, or crantini. Combine 2 to 2 1/2 ounces of a premium gin with a 1/2 ounce of a quality cranberry juice in a shaker filled with ice. Add 1/2 ounce of juice to an ounce of vermouth if you would like. Shake vigorously, to chill, approximately 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange twist or float a few fresh or frozen cranberries in the cocktail. A dash of orange or Angostura bitters adds subtle complexity.
A twist on a classic cocktail, cranberry lends a welcome tartness to sweet Negronis. Combine 2 ounces of gin, 2 ounces of campari, 2 ounces of sweet vermouth and 4 ounces of cranberry juice to a cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir to combine and garnish with an orange twist. Swap the sweet vermouth for dry if you prefer your Negronis dry. Top with a splash of Prosecco or champagne to add a hint of fizz. Look for pure cranberry juice instead of cranberry juice cocktail to prevent the resulting cocktail from becoming too sweet.