Cranberry-Ginger Vodka Tonic

Thanksgiving … it’s all about the turkey and ALL the trimmings. I mean: mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, Jello salad, cranberry chutney, brussles sprouts, PIE (all the pie), gravy, rolls, and probably the kitchen sink. One thing I’ve found through successfully navigating quite a few Thanksgivings as an “adult” is there is usually something that is often overlooked: COCKTAILS.

Oh, sure – people bring wine and beer, but how often have you arrived at turkey day dinner and been handed a glorious thematically correct cocktail? That’s what I thought.image

I know there’s like a MILLION things you have to do to get a feast on the table Thursday, campers – but trust me when I say take some time to whip up this simple syrup the day before when things aren’t as hectic and then WOW your guests with nummy cocktails that add a bit of bubble and shine to an already fantastic foodie affair.

Note: you REALLY need to already like vodka tonics if you’re going to drink this (vodka tonics have a particular taste). The tartness of the simple syrup paired with the bitterness of the tonic water pumps a normal vodka tonic into a great seasonal drink, but the bitterness of the tonic water still shines through a bit.

Cranberry-Ginger Vodka Tonic


2 cups fresh cranberries, plus extra for garnish
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 TBSP grated ginger (or 1 inch knob, grated)
8 oz, vodka
tonic water
crushed ice


In a medium-sized pan over low heat, combine cranberries, water, sugar, and ginger and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until cranberries have softened (they will pop and sizzle a bit, it’s okay) and the liquid is a bright red (approximately 10 minutes).

Remove from heat and strain mixture through a mesh sieve into a glass container. Discard solids. Let cranberry mixture cool completely before using.

To Serve: fill 8 glasses with crushed ice and 1oz cranberry-ginger syrup and 1oz vodka. Top with tonic water. Give it a quick stir, garnish with fresh cranberries and serve.

Na Zdorovie.

Do you have a favorite drink for your Thanksgiving feast? Tell us about it in the comments.

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“Cranberry-Ginger Vodka Tonic”

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