Bright, tart and incredibly refreshing, the vodka cranberry has been a go-to bar order for decades. The straightforward cocktail was actually invented by the Ocean Spray agricultural cooperative almost 90 years ago, though it originally went by a different name.
Kellyanne Dignan, their spokesperson, told USA Today’s 10Best, “According to our archives, we first marketed cranberry juice, vodka and lime as a cocktail called the Red Devil in the 1940s.” Since then, the cocktail has been known as a Cape Codder, Rangoon Ruby, Bog-Fog and more, but it’s most enduring, and colloquial, name is the vodka cranberry.
Regardless of what you call it, Taste of Home’s Test Kitchen has an authentic recipe for a vodka cranberry that will make you feel like you could open your own bar. Keep reading for the simple how-to, plus some tips from behind the bar.
Give your entire dinner a retro feel with these vintage recipes from the 1940s.
How to Make a Vodka Cranberry
Grab your favorite glass and mix yourself this refreshing cocktail. It’s made with 100% cranberry juice, for a fresh, tart flavor. If you prefer something sweeter, feel free to substitute with cranberry juice cocktail.
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup ice cubes
- 1-1/2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- Lime wedge
Step 1: Mix
Step 2: Garnish
Gently attach your lime wedge to the edge of the glass. When you’re ready to enjoy, squeeze the lime into the drink and get sipping!
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Do you shake a vodka cranberry?
Not traditionally. However, this cocktail can be easily made up. Just add the ice, vodka and cranberry juice to a shaker and shake until the barrel gets nice and cold, about 20 seconds. Strain into a martini or coupe glass and serve with a twist of lime peel.
How much alcohol is in a vodka cranberry?
An ounce and a half, or a standard shot, is used for this recipe. There are no standard proportions for a vodka cranberry, so you can increase or decrease the amount of cranberry juice depending on how forward you’d like the vodka to be.
Serving Ideas for a Vodka Cranberry
Take this simple cocktail to the next level with these slight changes.
- Serve it the Cape Cod way with a few whole or muddled fresh cranberries. These honeyed cranberries would be a gorgeous garnish!
- Feel like you’re in the Big Apple by turning your drink into a Cosmopolitan. Simply add 1-1/2 ounces of Triple Sec, shake in a cocktail shaker, then strain into a martini glass. Serve with a twist of lime peel.
- Go salty! Make a Salty Dog by swapping in grapefruit juice for the cranberry and serving in a salt-rimmed highball glass.
Now that you’ve mastered a vodka cranberry, take on these other easy cocktail recipes you can memorize.
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