Cranberry Tequila Sour

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Cranberry Tequila Sour

We love to serve our guests a special cocktail to mark any celebration or gathering. People seem to really enjoy trying a different drink, paired with the menu and in tune with the season.

When I saw a version of this cranberry tequila sour in the current issue of Bon Appetit, I know I wanted to try it out, with the holiday season just around the corner. It sounded delicious and I hoped it would make a colorful cocktail.

Me being me, I played with the recipe, using our Meyer lemons instead of limes. The addition of Chinese five-spice to the sugar-salt coating on the glasses’ rims didn’t appeal to me, so I left it out of my recipe. I took a guess from the BA sketch of a tumbler as to which glasses to use for the cocktail.  What are old-fashioned glasses, anyway? I admit to never having sipped an old-fashioned…

I think this cranberry-infused cocktail will be just the thing to serve before our Thanksgiving meal – and all through the December holidays.

TIP: You will need to make the cranberry jam at least 4 hours before assembling the cocktails since the jam needs to be well-chilled.

3.0 from 2 reviews
Cranberry Tequila Sour
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A margarita cocktail infused with intense cranberry flavor.
  • Cranberry Jam:
  • ¾ cup fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • Cocktail:
  • 1 wedge Meyer lemon
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • cranberry jam (see above)
  • ¼ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¾ cup white tequila
  1. Cranberry Jam:
  2. Using a small saucepan, bring the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and ¼ cup water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, occasionally, until mixture thickens and becomes "jammy". This took only 15 minutes, half the time predicted in the BA version.
  3. Allow the jam to cool, then cover and chill in fridge.
  4. Cocktail:
  5. Rub the edges of the glasses with the lemon wedge.
  6. Mix the salt and sugar in a small plate. Dip the rim of each glass in the salt-sugar mix and swirl to coat the rim.
  7. Combine the cranberry jam, lemon juice, orange juice and tequila in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  8. Cover, shake for 30 seconds, strain and pour into glasses filled with ice cubes.



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32 Responses to Cranberry Tequila Sour

  1. Jersey Girl Cooks November 8, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Love this! Great fall or holiday cocktail! Happy Friday!

    • Liz November 8, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks and Happy Friday to you as well 😉

  2. Valentina November 8, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Wow – what a gorgeous red!

    • Liz November 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      It’s the cranberries – I love the red too.

  3. sippitysup November 8, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    According to a certain book called “Savory Cocktails” an OLD-FASHIONED GLASS is “short and stocky with a heavy bottom that’s suited to muddling. Its size can vary anywhere from 4 to 12 (or more) ounces. The larger ones are often called Double Old-Fashioned Glasses. You’ll also see this style of glass called a rocks glass, a tumbler, and a whiskey glass.” Your glass appears to be correct here. GREG

    • Liz November 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Greg, Thank you so much for the explanation! And from an expert/author such as yourself.

  4. Wendy Read November 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Great shot Liz! Oh…this looks so tasty, I was going to say a rock glass but Greg beat me to it. Your choice was perfect. I have about 18 pounds of cranberries on hand this week, very tempted to try this.

    • Liz November 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

      Thanks, Wendy. I was alone when I made these – took one sip, pronounced them pretty righteous, then down the sink. Hey, it was just after lunch when the light was good.

  5. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories November 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Just gorgeous! So sad you had to throw it away! =)

    • Liz November 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Don’t worry – happy to make for a crowd.

  6. November 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    I’m going to make the jam for sure. Your picture is gorgeous .

    • Liz November 9, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      Just remember that the jam forms pretty quickly – don’t walk away and forget about it, as I did –

  7. Jayne November 8, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    What a pretty cocktail, the glass looks lovely too! I Iike the simple ingredients, sometimes there are just too many kinds of alcohol in a cocktail. Gosh I’m sad it was wasted though, if only I could have popped over to share!

    • Liz November 9, 2013 at 7:54 am #

      I would have loved to share with you, Jayne –

  8. Jennie Schacht November 8, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    What a perfectly festive cocktail! I always love fun ideas for holiday parties and I think I’ll be using this one. The salt-sugar rim is a nice touch, and I agree that Chinese five-spice doesn’t sound like an appealing addition.

    • Liz November 9, 2013 at 7:56 am #

      Thank you, Jennie – I know I will make these again during the “holidaze” –

  9. Suzanne November 9, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Looks wonderful Liz, a great festive cocktail, I’ll try this on Thanksgiving. I make a ton of cranberry sauce and can’t think of a better way to use some of than this drink. Happy Holiday!

    • Liz November 9, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      Me too – I eat cranberries all year long and always have a bag stashed in my freezer.

  10. Oui, Chef November 10, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Sadly, tequila and I don’t get along very well. If memory serves it has something to do with a stag party I attended (and enjoyed a bit too much) many years ago. I may give this a go with rum or vodka though, because the balance of the recipe sounds perfect!

    • Liz November 10, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      I remember a few tequila “slammer” parties myself – try it with citrus-flavored vodka, maybe?

  11. Lynda - TasteFood November 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Fantastic. I love the jam. And the tequila, of course.

    • Liz November 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Thanks, Lynda –

  12. Lisa November 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    What a pretty cocktail! Red is a favorite color of mine.

    • Liz November 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Red IS my favorite color…

  13. The Wimpy Vegetarian November 17, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    This is perfect, perfect, perfect for Thanksgiving!!! The color is just beautiful!!

    • Liz November 17, 2013 at 7:48 am #

      You remind me to make another batch, Susan –

  14. Toni November 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    do you have any extra cranberry jam? I will trade you jam for a Christmas Cactus maybe?

    • Liz November 13, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      Toni, I don’t have any – this is an older but seasonal post – and it’s a good cocktail.

  15. mike November 25, 2019 at 10:23 am #

    the directions are confusing. Do we buy the cranberry jam AND make a jam? at the end do we add more more lemon juice and orange juice?

  16. mike November 25, 2019 at 10:25 am #

    Let me be more specific: once jam is made and its been chilled and its time to add to shaker you state
    “Combine the cranberry jam, lemon juice, orange juice and tequila in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.”
    The cranberry jam that we made already has orange and lemon juice in it. Do we add more orange and lemon juice?
    Or really are you just telling us to add the jam MIXTURE (which included lemon and orange) to the shaker?

  17. Michael November 25, 2019 at 10:28 am #

    OMG i’m an idiot. Please delete my comments. I just saw that you have a section for JAM and a section for COCKTAIL. SORRY!

    • Liz November 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm #

      No problem at all! Happy Thanksgiving!

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