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Cranberry Orange Shrub Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Leah Hall

Shrubs are usually in summer cocktails, but we loved this flavor combination for the holidays in this shrub cocktail!


The holidays bring lots of great seasonal flavors, one of the best being the fresh tart flavor of cranberries. Lots of classic Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes use cranberries, but we always have had a cranberry orange salad on our table!


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Cranberry Orange Shrub Cocktail in a martini glass with sugared cranberries, gin bottle and greenery behind

Most people think of the jiggly sugary canned relish, but Mr. Nom’s family has always made a fresh version that uses fresh cranberries and oranges to make a sweet tart relish that is always a hit at the holiday meal. So why not make a cranberry orange cocktail?


Shrub Cocktail

The sweet fresh citrus and the tart cranberries make a great relish that gets even better as the combination has a chance to sit and maturate as it gets a bit of a fermented tang. This flavor always reminded us of the holidays, and with Christmas fast approaching, we wanted to make a cocktail that embraced this flavor.

Cranberry Orange Shrub cocktail in martini glass with sugared cranberries, bottle of gin and cranberry simple syrup in the backgroundMason Jars / Martini Glasses

We had been trying a bunch of different combinations, but none grabbed our taste buds until we decided to make a cranberry orange shrub.

Shrubs are a classic way to preserve fresh fruit for later (see more about the history of shrubs on our Honey Blackberry Shrub) and the resulting liquid makes for a really great cocktail ingredient. A great combination of sweet and sour with a great fruity burst, the cranberry shrub came out a beautifully festive red that made for a beautiful cocktail.

Cranberry Orange Shrub cocktail in martini glass with sugared cranberries, bottle of gin and cranberry simple syrup in the backgroundGarnish Picks / Shaker

What Ingredients are Needed for the Cranberry Orange Shrub Cocktail?

  • For the Cranberry Orange Shrub
    • Orange Zest
    • Sugar
    • Salt
    • Cranberries
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Water
  • Cranberry Orange Shrub Gin Cocktail
    • Cranberry Simple Syrup
    • Orange Bitters
    • Gin
    • Sugared Cranberries
    • Cranberry Orange Shrub
    • Triple Sec


For the cocktail, we chose to mix the shrub with gin, which highlighted the notes of the shrub while bringing a nice herbal hint of pine, which really makes this cocktail perfect for Christmas!


If You Are Looking for More Holiday Recipes, Try These!




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Other Shrub Cocktails

Other Cranberry Orange Cocktails

Red cocktail in martini glass with cranberries on pick. Evergreen and Christmas ornaments in background with red syrup filled jars
Yield: 1

Cranberry Orange Shrub Cocktail - A Gin Cocktail

Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Set Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 24 minutes

A cocktail based off the classic holiday side dish, cranberry orange salad.


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup cider vinegar

For the Cocktail


For the Shrub

Combine water, sugar, cranberries, salt and zest in a saucepan, bring to a simmer.

Don't boil or the cranberries will pop. Take off heat, add vinegar.

Store in a jar or airtight container for at least 12 hours. It doesn't need to be refrigerated.

For the Cocktail

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice.

Shake and strain into a glass.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 587mgCarbohydrates: 36.2gFiber: 0gSugar: 5.9gProtein: 0g

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Saturday 9th of December 2017

You call it "cranberry orange shrub" but there is no orange to be found in the ingredients list?

The 'Noms.

Saturday 9th of December 2017

Hi! Yes, we do call it cranberry orange shrub, and I have added in the orange zest as optional. We have 2 orange ingredients in the cocktail itself - the triple sec and the orange bitters, hence the name. Hope this clarifies it!

Sara | Belly Rumbles

Tuesday 15th of December 2015

Tried my first shrub in NYC, this looks great.

The 'Noms.

Wednesday 16th of December 2015

We love shrubs, they are so interesting! Thank you!

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