Last Updated on August 30, 2021 by The Noms
The cranberry simple syrup in this cranberry cocktail recipe lends color and light sweetness to this smoky mezcal and bourbon split base drink!
This super simple cocktail is balanced and can be made super fast giving you more time to cheers and enjoy it with friends! Just 4 ingredients, this cranberry cocktail recipe is perfect for any time of year!
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Did you know cranberry can be a spring and summer flavor too? I know most people think about it as a winter, especially Christmas flavor. But, made with the right flavors, it can be summer in a glass – in the same line as other berries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries!
Split Base Cocktail
A split base cocktail is taking two spirits and using both to build the foundation for the cocktail. We have looked at a split base as a great way to add layers of flavor to the cocktail but not having one spirit being the leader. A majority of split bases are in the same spirit family: mezcal with tequila, scotch and bourbon together, or dark rum and light rum.
Most people making drinks are home are into classics such as an Old Fashioned or Margarita. You don’t have to buy a lot of ingredients, they are easy to balance, and most of these classic cocktails have a one spirit base. But, you can try it out in an Old Fashioned – combine rye and bourbon and see what you like!
We think sometimes one flavor is not enough. There are equal parts cocktails (Negroni and Last Word) that use the same measurements for each ingredient. But split bases are maybe 1.25 oz of one liquor, and .75 oz of another, or even 1.50/.50. They can be split equally too, just depends what flavors you are looking for.
A mixed berry pie still takes like berries, but its more complex because of the different berries. Same rule applies here if you remember that making cocktails is just building flavors in your glass. It’s a great way to add complexity, usually without adding tens of ingredients more to change the flavor.
Split Base Cocktails with Different Spirits
Sometimes if you split the base with two complementary spirits such as bourbon or vodka, the drinks achieve a new level of sophistication and subtlety. Also – if you feel you need more “oomph” as we call it, in a cocktail, you can always add vodka to whatever you are making. The vodka adds more proof, but doesn’t really add or take away flavor, it’s the perfect 0 sum booze.
Cranberry Cocktail Recipe
So, when we were working on this cocktail we loved the smoky hint of mezcal with bourbon. The dryness of the bourbon, and then a touch of smoke from the mezcal brings it all together with the sweetness of the cranberry syrup.
And the orange bitters sends it over the top. If you have ever had cranberry relish at Thanksgiving or Christmas, you know that touch of orange brings it all together.
Which it does in this case, too! We hope you try this one out!
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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!
Other Split Base Cocktails
- Rye Rum Sazerac – Louisiana Cookin
- Mezcal Margarita – Slightly Pretentious
- Vieux Carre – Blossom to Stem
- Saratoga Cocktail – Thrillist
- Sir Joseph Porter – Home Bar Girl
This cranberry cocktail recipe is perfect all year long, not just at Christmas! Full of smoky flavors with mezcal and a touch of bourbon for richness. Cheers!
- 1.50 ounce mezcal
- .25 ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce cranberry simple syrup
- 4-5 dashes orange bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.
- Shake and strain into rocks glass with ice.
- Garnish with more cranberries on a cocktail pick if desired, or an orange peel.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Sodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 23.8g
PIN THIS CRANBERRY COCKTAIL RECIPE FOR LATER!
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