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The Speckled Palate
December 31, 2018

Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail

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Serve up a Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail this New Year’s Eve! This sparkling mocktail, which features tart unsweetened cranberry juice and spicy ginger beer, is a flavorful mixed drink to serve to individuals or a crowd. Add orange juice or apple juice to mellow the flavors for children. You can also swap ginger beer for ginger ale, too. With options to make this drink as tasty as possible, it’s perfect for both adults and children!

Two Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktails are shown on a dark background, surrounded by fresh cranberries and ginger

In true Erin fashion, I never even heard of a mocktail until I was pregnant with our first child.

One of my friends (probably Susannah, if I’m really thinking about it) asked me what I planned to drink when I went out for dinner and drinks that evening, and I told her, “Water. Obviously. Or maybe a Coke?”

“Why not ask the bartender to make you a mocktail?”

And thus, my mocktail obsession was born!

An orange is rubbed along the rim of a glass before it is dipped in orange sugar

While I love a good booze-infused drink (hello, my top 10 recipes are basically all drinks), there’s something nice about having a nonalcoholic mixed drink, too.

And for New Year’s festivities this year, I wanted to offer a drink that everyone can enjoy!

So why not feature some of my favorite seasonal flavors?

A glass is dipped into orange sugar before the drink is poured into it

This drink calls for just two ingredients—unsweetened cranberry juice (NOT cranberry cocktail!) and ginger beer.

You can add a little bit of apple juice or orange juice, too, if the cranberry is too tart or the ginger beer is too punchy.

It’s versatile, and when served with a sugared orange rim, this drink is absolutely fabulous for a celebration!

A glass is dipped into orange sugar before the drink is poured into it

What is a mocktail?

A nonalcoholic mixed drink!

Basically, it’s a drink that calls for a few ingredients that are mixed together. If you were to add a shot of booze, it would be considered a cocktail. Since you leave the alcohol out of it, this will be a mocktail.

How do you make a Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail?

Sugar the rim of your glass by running an orange wedge around the rim, and dip it in orange sugar. Once the rim is ready, pour the unsweetened cranberry juice with ginger beer into the glass and stir.

Add some fresh cranberries for garnish, and enjoy immediately!

Cranberry juice is poured into a glass to make a Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail

What is ginger beer?

A naturally sweetened, carbonated, naturally fermented beverage. This brewed drink is considered non-alcoholic because their alcohol content is so low. (Ginger beer is similar to a kombucha with the fermenting and suuuuuuper low alcohol content.)

When poured into a glass, ginger beer bubbles and fizzes like a beer would.

Ginger beer is poured into a glass to make a Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail

What is the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale?

Ginger beer has been brewed and fermented. Because of the way it is made, the ginger flavor is robust.

Ginger ale is carbonated water flavored with ginger. It’s generally lighter in color and has a much mellower flavor.

Close up of a Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail, surrounded by fresh cranberries

How do you make this Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail for kids?

You can serve kids this mocktail as it is, though I’d advise taste testing it first.

Depending on the ginger beer you use, it could be spicier and maybe a little too punchy for a child. (For example, we used Sprouts branded ginger beer in our tester batches, and mixed the final photo versions with Fever Tree. The Sprouts ginger beer is milder, while the Fever Tree has more heat.)

If your ginger beer is strong, consider adding some orange or apple juice to this sparkling mocktail. Both juices will mellow the ginger and add a little sweetness to balance out the tart cranberry juice.

You could also swap the ginger beer for ginger ale if serving kids.

Our 3.5-year-old wants you to know she enjoyed hers with a splash of apple juice.

Three glasses ofSparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktails are shown from above on a black board, surrounded by cranberries, ginger and "snow"

What do I need to make a Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail?

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Three Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktails are served on napkins with golden straws

What are some other drinks I can serve for a New Year’s Eve gathering?

Pinterest graphic, featuring Two Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktails are shown on a dark background, surrounded by fresh cranberries and ginger and text

Now who’s ready to mix up one of these gorgeous nonalcoholic mixed drinks?

Scroll on down to learn how easy and effervescent this cocktail is for any kind of wintertime celebration.

Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail
Yield: 1 drink

Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Serve up a Sparkling Ginger Cranberry Mocktail this New Year's Eve! This sparkling mocktail, which features tart unsweetened cranberry juice and spicy ginger beer, is a flavorful mixed drink to serve to individuals or a crowd. Add orange juice or apple juice to mellow the flavors for children. You can also swap ginger beer for ginger ale, too. With options to make this drink as tasty as possible, it's perfect for both adults and children!

Ingredients

Mocktail

  • 2 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 4 oz. ginger beer
  • Fresh cranberries, for garnish

Orange Sugar (Enough for FOUR Drinks)

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

  1. On a small plate, combine the sugar with the orange zest. Stir them together until combined, and set aside.
  2. Slice an orange with a sharp knife, and cut into a wedge.
  3. Run the wedge around the rim of your glass. Make sure the entire rim is damp, as the orange sugar won’t stick if it’s not.
  4. Dip the rim into the orange sugar on the plate, moving the glass until all parts are coated.
  5. Using a jigger or a liquid measuring cup, measure out the cranberry juice and pour into the glass.
  6. Pour the ginger beer on top of the cranberry juice, and stir.
  7. Garnish with fresh cranberries, and enjoy immediately!

Notes

Please note that different ginger beers are different levels of spice. Taste yours before mixing your drink, especially if serving to kids. (We love Fever Tree, but it has super strong ginger flavors that other brands don’t necessarily have.)

Renditions: Add an ounce of orange or apple juice to mellow out the spice of the ginger and tartness of the cranberry. If you’re serving children and think they might not enjoy the strong ginger flavor of a ginger beer, use ginger ale instead.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1 drink

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 241 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 12mg Carbohydrates: 63g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 53g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

This post first appeared at Julie’s Eats and Treats, where I am a contributor.

Have you ever tried a mocktail before?

What are your feelings on ginger beer vs. ginger ale

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