Christmas Margaritas

Mix up a batch of Christmas Margaritas that will have everyone asking for another round! This easy holiday cocktail, made with tequila and cranberry juice, will delight everyone at your holiday parties.

two christmas margaritas and ornaments on a white background

There’s nothing better than enjoying a classic margarita with a friend, is there?

Okay, what if I upped the ante and said they were margaritas… at Christmas?

And even better yet… they’re cranberry margaritas for Christmas!

Doesn’t that sound even more incredible?

Then let me show you the festive cocktail recipe that will make all those dreams come true. I’m certain it will be one of your favorite drinks to serve at a Christmas party!

Christmas Margarita recipe

The Christmas Margarita is the holiday cocktail your gatherings have been missing.

Tequila, lime juice, cranberry juice, agave nectar and triple sec all come together in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Serve them up in any margarita glasses you have on hand, rimmed with salt. (Or sugar, if you prefer!)

(However I would like to take a moment to say I am very obsessed with these cactus margarita glasses!)

closeup of cranberries and a dehydrated lime garnish on christmas margarita

Ingredients

Just like a classic margarita recipe, you only need a few things to make a holiday margarita. (Some people call them Mistletoe Margaritas which I think is such a cute name!)

Lime juice

Lime juice is a staple for any margarita recipe! I always recommend using fresh lime juice if you can.

The bottled stuff will work fine in a punch though! It still has plenty of lime flavor.

Cranberry juice

Regular cranberry juice is easy to find in grocery stores. Look in the juice aisle or the refrigerated section.

Sometimes you can find cranberry juice with other flavors mixed in, like blueberry or grape. But don’t worry — any of these would be delicious!

But do be careful of buying cranberry juice cocktail, which is loaded with extra sugar. This cocktail doesn’t need it! Because…

Sweetener

This cranberry margarita calls for agave nectar. It may not be something you have on hand, but if you love margaritas, you really should keep it around!

And here’s why: Tequila comes from the agave plant, and so does its sweet agave nectar.

If you don’t have agave nectar, don’t worry! Simple syrup is easy to make with sugar and water and will work perfectly. Honey syrup will work too.

top view of a christmas margarita with a lime, sugared cranberries and a salt rim

Tequila

Use your favorite tequila in these or choose the best one you can afford. However, there are a few types of tequila that I detail in my Tequila 101. Here’s a quick recap of your options:

  • I prefer a blanco, or silver tequila. It is clear and colorless, and works really well in margarita recipes.
  • A reposado tequila is aged tequila has been rested in oak barrels between two months and one year, and gets its natural caramel coloring from the oak. Its flavor is more complex, but you can either mix with it or sip it straight.
  • Gold tequila has added caramel color to make it seem aged, so I don’t usually go for that one.
  • Añejo and extra añejo are premium tequilas that have been aged for more than a year (extra is more than three!). They get their name from the word for ‘aged’ in Spanish. Like a fine cognac, it is meant to be sipped straight, so I’d stay away from this one.
  • Infused tequila is another way you can experiment with tequila for this cocktail.

My favorite tequila brands right now are El Jimador, Lunazul, Espolon, Patron and Casamigos.

Orange liqueur

Add Grand Marnier, Cointreau or plain triple sec for some extra orange flavor. But if you want to keep things simple, feel free to skip the extra booze.

a christmas margarita and a plate of salt

Something for the rim

Margarita salt is my choice for the rim of the traditional margarita.

Because this cranberry margarita is sweet, I prefer a salt rim with it, but feel free to use a sugar rim if you like it sweeter!

If you’re feeling up to it and like sugar rims for your cocktails, make a cinnamon sugar rim for an extra Christmas touch.

Garnish

A lime wedge is always an acceptable garnish for a good margarita.

I used these dehydrated lime slices from iGourmet — they are really fun to keep around and try in new recipes!

You can also top this cranberry tequila cocktail with a few fresh cranberries, or make sugared cranberries for a special touch. (They really put the “festive” in a festive holiday cocktail.)

You could even use a strawberry slice, a raspberry or other fresh fruits. A rosemary garnish would also be really pretty!

If you like your margaritas on the rocks, you could whip up a batch of cranberry ice cubes in an ice cube tray.

Garnishes make your drinks feel fancy, but you certainly don’t have to have a garnish at all! Check out this post for more holiday garnish ideas.

How to make the cranberry margarita recipe

You only need to follow a few steps to make your the best Christmas margaritas:

  1. First pour some salt (or sugar) onto a plate, and cut a lime into wedges for your rims and garnishes.
  2. Rim glasses by rubbing a lime wedge all around the outer edge of your margarita glass, then roll or dip the rim of the glass into the salt until it’s coated.
  3. Then, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the cranberry juice, tequila, triple sec and agave. Put the lid on and shake it hard!
  4. Strain the margarita into your glasses and garnish with cranberries and a lime wedge.
  5. Cheers!
two christmas margaritas on a white background with a plate of salt for the rim and pink christmas ornaments

Variations

There are so many ways you can put a festive twist on this recipe for the holiday season to make it your perfect margarita.

  • Make it a pomegranate Christmas margarita by substituting pomegranate juice for the cranberry juice. It would be more tart, but still so delicious!
  • Use white cranberry juice for a light-colored cocktail that will still taste similar. I suppose you could call this variation a White Christmas margarita recipe?
  • Make them spicy Christmas margaritas with jalapeño-infused tequila. (It makes a great easy gift, by the way.)
  • Make it non-alcoholic by subbing orange juice for the Cointreau and using a zero-proof tequila alternative instead of tequila. I love the one from Ritual and enjoy making a virgin margaritas with them.

Christmas cocktail recipes

If you’re looking for some more holiday cocktails to serve with your cranberry margaritas, or for other events this time of year, look no further than these ideas.

Apple cider margaritas and blood orange margaritas are so pretty for the wintertime if you are in need of more margarita options! Check out this list of the best margarita recipes for more ideas.

My Yule Mule recipe is one of my most popular Christmas cocktails. Use any leftover cranberry juice from the Christmas margs to make one these pretty ginger beer cocktails.

Another favorite is the Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail, which pulls together cranberry juice, triple sec and champagne, and is perfect for New Year’s Eve. It’s very similar to a cranberry mimosa, which is a great one for holiday brunches.

If you’re looking for a Christmas martini, try this sugar cookie martini. It tastes like a Christmas cookie!

Christmas Spa Water is a pretty non-alcoholic option I like to keep on hand at the holidays for family gatherings, Christmas parties and more. It’s essentially an infused water with notes of fresh rosemary and cranberry, and it’s so delicious. It’s one way to serve festive drinks without any alcohol.

christmas margaritas on a white countertop

Christmas Margaritas

Yield: 2 cocktails
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

These easy Christmas margaritas are a festive cocktail to make your holidays bright!

Ingredients

  • lime wedge
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar or simple syrup
  • 6 sugared cranberries, for garnish
  • 2 lime wheels. for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour some salt (or sugar) onto a plate. Rim glasses by rubbing a lime wedge all around the outer edge of two margarita glasses, then roll or dip the rim of the glass into the salt until it's coated.
  2. Then, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the cranberry juice, tequila, triple sec and agave. Put the lid on and shake it hard!
  3. Strain the margarita into your glasses and garnish with cranberries and a lime wedge or wheel.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6348mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 0g

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