cranberry margarita

I read somewhere once that a good host should always greet their guests at the door with a drink in their hand. That it automatically puts everyone at ease and sets the tone for the evening. This is protocol I can live with.

For dinner parties, it’s usually a glass of wine that I am sporting, or if it’s an especially good night, champagne, but for the holidays I like to do it up a bit more. Seize the festivities and run with it. So when flipping through the November issue of Bon Appetit I took one look at this recipe and knew I had our Thanksgiving starter.

In fact, this was so delicious I see it kicking off another dinner soon…who knows, maybe even Christmas!

Cranberry margarita

Cranberry Margarita
From Bon Appétit
Makes 4

¾ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest, finely grated
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1½ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 lime wedge, plus 2 oz. fresh juice
4 oz. fresh orange juice
6 oz. tequila

Bring cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and jammy, 30–40 minutes. Mix in orange zest; let cool. DO AHEAD: Jam can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Mix salt, sugar, and five-spice powder on a small plate. Rub rims of Old Fashioned glasses with lime wedge; dip in salt mixture and fill glasses with ice.

For each cocktail, combine ½ oz. lime juice, 1 oz. orange juice, 1½ oz. tequila, and 2 Tbsp. cranberry jam in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Cover and shake until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into prepared glass.

Might as well start making another one at this point because they are so delicious you’re going to want another by the time you finish the first! Cheers!


About bistroonesix

I have an interest in all things food and am lucky enough to be surrounded by people that share this same passion. There’s never a shortage of inspiration or partners in collaboration. Some of my happiest memories involve big tables covered with food, plenty of wine, and extra chairs pulled up to accommodate all the friends and family. If I can help facilitate these kinds of evenings, well then I’d say this is a great hobby to have. I live in Boise, Idaho with my husband and 2 adorable cats.


  1. I will definitely be trying this over the weekend!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Yes – get a drink their hand before they even have a chance to say “Hello!” It’s a foolproof way to ensure relaxed, happy guests and a great party. We served these margaritas for Christmas Eve. I make the Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir recipe from Epicurious every year (I get many requests for it) and generally double the recipe. It has a complimentary flavor profile … five-spice, ginger, curry, etc. This year I froze the leftover sauce and subbed it for the ‘jam’ in your recipe with great success. An new tradition is born! Thank you for the inspiration and for your beautiful blog. ~Stacy

    • Thanks Stacy! Sounds like the drinks were a hit. I think the Chinese five spice is definitely key for the rim. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and thanks again for the comment.

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