Vodka Cranberry Recipe

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Cocktail Type


Great for




Refreshing vodka cranberry on ice with lime

Learning how to make a good vodka cranberry is super easy. With just two ingredients, there’s not a lot that can go wrong. But if you want to make a perfect vodka cranberry, keep reading! You might be surprised to learn how adding lime and orange juice will elevate your drink to a whole new flavor level.   

So, if you’re a vodka-cran fan, stick around while we take you through the berry exciting world of this classic drink.



Keep your limes at room temperature for the juiciest result.


You can replace fresh lime with lime cordial for something a little different.


Add frozen cranberries and garnish with rosemary to create a festive vodka cranberry for the holiday season.



1 Person

2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

3 Oz

90 Ml

3 Parts

Fresh cranberry Juice
1 Oz

30 Ml

1 Parts

Fresh orange juice (optional)
Wedge of lime, to garnish



Add ice to a highball glass


Pour in the vodka and orange juice, then top with cranberry  


Add a squeeze of lime juice, before dropping the wedge into the drink


Stir and serve

What does a vodka cranberry taste like?

Cranberry juice with vodka (aka a Cape Codder) is easy to sip and a popular choice for novice drinkers. So, it’s no wonder this tasty pink drink has a bit of a reputation for being a college drink. And it makes sense. The taste of the cranberry juice is sweet and tart, and the lime adds a lovely zesty twist, making it very drinkable and perfect for beginners.   

You might also like: The Definitive List of 2 Ingredient Vodka Cocktails 

Is a vodka cranberry best when shaken?

When figuring out how to make a good vodka cranberry, you might be tempted to shake it instead of building it in the glass. But what’s the difference in taste? And why are drinks shaken, stirred, or made in a glass? Here are a few top tips:  

If the drink contains citrus, cream, or eggs, you can shake it in a cocktail shaker. That way, you’re mixing, chilling, and aerating the ingredients, resulting in a lighter frothy drink. Our recipe for the perfect vodka cranberry has added lime juice and optional orange juice. So, if you’re feeling a little fancy, shake this drink before straining it into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Stirring a drink is best suited to liquor-only cocktails, like the Negroni, Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Martini. Stirring a cocktail chills the ingredients without watering it down or diluting the alcohol too much.  

Lastly, you can choose to build the drink straight in the glass like we’ve done with our recipe for a casual evening with friends.   

You might also like: How to Use a Cocktail Shaker. 

When and how to serve a vodka cranberry

The Cape Codder is all about being fuss-free and uncomplicated. It’s a great drink for those last-minute events and casual gatherings. Serve these refreshing cocktails during: 

  • Brunch or lunch 
  • Happy hour 
  • Garden parties 
  • Poolside parties 
  • Girls’ night in 
  • Weekends 
  • Christmas 

You might also like: 11 Best Brunch Cocktails for Easy Entertaining 

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A vodka cranberry has an ABV of 14%, which is slightly stronger than a glass of wine.

There are loads of lovely options. You can make a Cosmopolitan, a Sea Breeze, Madras or a Rum and Cranberry.