These easy Mistletoe Cranberry Margaritas are the perfect big batch cocktail to serve at any of your holiday parties and festivities. They’re perfect to make ahead, so you’re not stuck playing bartender at your next holiday party. They will be a huge hit, and your guests will marvel at how pretty and eye-catching these Christmas margaritas are.
With the holiday season upon us, we need a few easy recipes to make the season special without all the work. If you’re looking for more batch Christmas cocktails, check out my Cranberry Mistletoe Vodka Martinis or my Hot Apple Cider Toddies with Bourbon – both include instructions for making 8 cocktails at once.
And, with the holiday season upon us, if you’re looking for gift ideas – you should take a look at my 10 Best Gifts for Margarita Lovers.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It takes just 3 ingredients and about 5 minutes to make this cocktail that everyone will love.
- You won’t have to spend time playing bartender or constantly using the cocktail shaker – instead, you can make it, relax, and enjoy your company.
- It’s such a festive cocktail! When each margarita is garnished with a sprig of rosemary, lime wedge, and fresh cranberries, it looks like a Christmas tree with ornaments. You can’t get much more festive than that!
This delicious Mistletoe Margarita recipe is made with just a few ingredients that are quite easy to find. To whip up a pitcher of these margaritas, you’ll need:
- Cranberry juice cocktail: I recommend using cranberry juice cocktail in this recipe. See FAQ for more information if you want to use 100% cranberry juice. In a pinch, you can substitute pomegranate juice.
- Tequila: Blanco or silver tequila is preferred in this recipe.
- Lime juice: Fresh lime juice is always best, but in a pinch, you can use bottled. Having one of these hand citrus juicers is very handy.
- Coarse salt for rim: This is strictly optional – it all depends on how you like your margaritas.
- Garnishes – fresh cranberries, lime wedges, and rosemary springs: These are optional but make the margaritas look so festive and pretty sitting in the pitcher and in the glasses. And since fresh cranberries naturally float, you can freeze the cranberries in advance and use them as “ice” to keep the margaritas cold without diluting them.
Step by Step Instructions
Freeze about ½ – 1 cup of fresh whole cranberries in the freezer to use as “ice.“
- Combine cranberry juice, lime juice, and tequila in a large pitcher. Stir well and add the frozen cranberries (if using) to the pitcher. Chill the pitcher until ready to serve. If using ice instead of frozen cranberries, add ice right before serving to prevent dilution.
- Rim any cocktail glasses by wetting the rim of each glass and then rolling in salt on a small shallow plate.
- Add sprigs of rosemary, lime wheels, and more fresh cranberries (frozen or not) either to the pitcher or to each glass for garnish, if desired.
I recommend using cranberry juice cocktail (regular cranberry juice) for these margaritas.
You can use 100% cranberry juice, but it is very tart with no sweetness. When the 100% juice combines with the lime juice, it gets too sour. You can still use it, but you may want to add simple syrup or agave syrup to the pitcher when mixing.
Blanco tequila is the type of tequila you should use for best results.
Blanco/silver tequila is generally unaged and does great in cocktails, making it very versatile. Darker tequila can be used for cocktails but is aged. Because of the aging process, it’s a bit more complex in flavor. You can use it but it will likely taste different. This recipe was only tested with blanco tequila.
Personally, I prefer salted, especially for mistletoe margaritas for a sweet, tart, and salty balance.
If you like sweeter margaritas or you are using 100% cranberry juice, you can try a sugar rim to balance the tartness. Or you can go for the best of both worlds and rim each cocktail glass in a sugar salt mixture.
You sure can! Just hit the 2x or 3x button on the recipe card below to have the measurements adjusted 12 or 18 cocktails.
More Recipes + Guides for Get Togethers
Did you love this cocktail?
Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section below.
- 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
- 1 ½ cups blanco tequila
- ½ cup lime juice
- ½ cup fresh whole cranberries for garnish or "ice", optional
- Additional lime wedges and rosemary sprigs for garnish, optional
- Salt or sugar for rims optional
- Optional pre-step: add the fresh whole cranberries in the freezer and freeze until very firm and frosty.
- Add the cranberry juice cocktail, tequila, and lime juice to a pitcher that can hold at least 52 ounces (12 cups or about ½ gallon) comfortably. Stir well. Add the ice or frozen cranberries to the pitcher if serving immediately. If not, chill in fridge and add ice or cranberries just prior to serving.
- Serve cocktails with salt rims and additional lime wedges, fresh cranberries, and sprigs of rosemary.
Easy to make ahead and delicious. Also good with cranberry/raspberry or cranberry/pomegranate cocktail.
I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Charity! Thanks for your feedback <3
Hi there. Do you think the base mixture could be made up and chilled a day before?
Hey Linda! Yes, you can definitely make this ahead and chill the day before. I’ve done that, and it works well. I hope you enjoy them!
These were so good! Everyone loved them!