Christmas cocktail: The Cranberry Cracker

This is the Christmas cocktail to boost your festive spirit. We’ve got our favourite drinks columnist and mixologist, Kathryn of Kat’s cocktails to shake up a true Christmas cracker of a cocktail for you all to enjoy at home over the lovely long Bank Holiday and festive weekend.

It’s finally here. We’re well into the festive season right now and while it might feel like it’s all looking a little touch and go, hopefully you’re still managing to have a good time, in a Covid safe way of course.

I’m jumping on the festive gastronomy bandwagon this week by adding cranberry sauce into my latest cocktail – if sandwiches are allowed it, so are drinks. Not only does the cranberry add a lovely fruitiness to this drink, it makes it makes it a lovely Christmassy pink! And of course it’s a great way of using up some cranberry sauce too. And what would a Christmas cocktail be without a little sparkle… I hope you enjoy this Cranberry cracker!


2oz London Dry Gin

3/4 triple sec (or cointreau)

1/2 lemon juice

1/4 oz simple syrup

Teaspoon cranberry sauce (or jelly)

Champagne or dry cava to top up


Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice (apart from the champagne), and shake for 10-15 seconds until ice cold

Strain into a martini glass and top with champagne (or anything fizzy, but the dryness of the champagne works best – prosecco can be a little over sweet, but a dry cava would be ideal!)

Garnish with anything festive! Such as cranberries, cinnamon stick

How to make your simple syrup

To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and hot water, stir until the sugar is dissolved and then leave to cool… ta da!

Top tip!

The festive season brings with it a lot of fizz (well, it certainly does in my house!) so it’s important to know both the safety and etiquette rules when opening.

Safety first… Never, ever, leave a bottle of sparkling anything with the cage off – the pressure inside a bottle of champagne is about 6 bar (90 psi) so if left unattended without the cage that cork could fire off on its own and cause serious damage. I’ve seen it happen in a restaurant and it’s lucky someone didn’t lose an eye!

Etiquette! Despite the fact that people love the sound of a cork popping, it really shouldn’t!

To achieve the very slight release of air sound, make sure you turn the bottle and not the cork (remember that pressure? If the cork flies out while your wrist is twisted you could break it) and push down hard on the cork. Cheers!!