Cranberry Mistletoe Margarita recipe with reposado tequila, fresh lime juice, and a spiced cranberry agave syrup! Try this frosted Mistletoe Margarita for all your holiday celebrations! And if you want more ideas for your holiday gatherings, try my Quirky Baking Gifts Guide, my Banana Pudding Cheesecake Squares, and my 19 Best Cookies for Cookie Exchange Swaps!
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Frosted Mistletoe Margarita
Just in time for the start of the holiday season, this cranberry mistletoe margarita is so simple to make and it’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit! I can’t wait to make this for upcoming holiday parties and or just to wind down on a weekend amid the bustle of holiday time. If you’re a fan of margaritas or tequila, you’ll love this frosted mistletoe margarita! It’s full of amazing holiday flavors, and so delicious!
What is a Mistletoe Margarita?
I’m not sure who first originated the term “mistletoe margaritas” but it’s a recipe that many cocktail and recipe creators have added their spin to. In general, it’s usually a traditional margarita recipe with the addition of cranberry juice. So while a typical margarita contains tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice, a “mistletoe margarita adds cranberry juice as well to bring a little holiday flavor!
My version is influenced by my brother Tony’s cocktail knowledge, of course. He suggested I create a riff off of the classic Tommy’s Margarita recipe, created by Julio Bermejo in the early 1990s at Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco. The Tommy’s version replaces the orange liqueur with agave syrup, creating a smoother, sweeter drink that’s so delicious. To add my twist to it, I decided to use fresh cranberries, orange peel, and whole spices to the agave syrup, infusing it with Christmas goodness and lots of amazing flavor! The result is a deliciously festive drink that’s simple to make and SO good!
Cranberry Mistletoe Margarita Ingredients
- tequila – the original Tommy’s recipe calls for tequila that is 100% agave, so make sure you get the good stuff. I also suggest you opt for tequila reposado, which is tequila that is aged 2-12 months in oak barrels. It’s more flavorful and smoother than tequila blanco, and perfect in this easy Mistletoe Margarita! As far as tequila brands, I like Altos Reposado, Espolón Tequila Reposado, or Casamigos Reposado. To skip the alcohol, you can try replacing the tequila in this recipe with Ritual Zero-Proof Tequila alternative!
- fresh lime juice – depending on how many of these you’re making, you may want to use a citrus juicer for your limes, or at least a handheld citrus squeezer!
- fresh cranberries – I love using whole cranberries for this cranberry mistletoe margarita! It provides a great cranberry flavor and they look beautiful as a garnish too! You can use frozen cranberries as well, or see below for a variation to make a White Christmas Margarita with white cranberry juice!
- agave nectar – this is the key ingredient in the Tommy’s margarita recipe! Using agave nectar brings out the agave flavor in the tequila, and makes your margarita smoother and sweeter. We’ll be creating an agave syrup with our agave nectar and some delicious holiday flavors!
- orange peel – cranberry and orange are a perfect combination, and using a bit of orange peel gives this merry mistletoe margarita a hint of that traditional margarita flavor!
- cinnamon stick – to infuse the agave nectar with that bold cinnamon flavor!
- whole cloves – nothing is more christmasy than the combination of cranberry, orange, and cloves!
To make your spiced cranberry agave syrup, you’ll want to grab a small saucepan and a fine-mesh sieve. Then, for this Christmas mistletoe margarita itself, you’ll want a cocktail shaker and some nice Christmas margarita glasses!
White Christmas Margarita Variation
You can turn this Christmas Mistletoe Margarita into a White Christmas Margarita by swapping in 3/4 cup white cranberry juice for the fresh cranberries! Then just simmer the syrup mixture a little longer so that the white cranberry juice can reduce by half.
You can also garnish your festive snow margarita with coarse salt or white sanding sugar for an even snowier look!
Tips and F.A.Q.
To make this festive cocktail in advance, make the cranberry agave syrup up to 5 days in advance and store in the fridge. Then, on the day of, juice your limes fresh so that they’ll have the most bright citrus flavor!
Absolutely! You can multiply the recipe by 6 to make a pitcher (12 servings)! Just use 3 cups of cranberries, 3 cups of agave nectar, 3 cups of water, 3 cinnamon sticks and 6 cloves to make the syrup. Then to make your pitcher of margarita, mix together 3 cups of tequila, 1½ cups of fresh lime juice, and 1½ cups of your cranberry agave syrup. If serving later, store in the fridge and serve within 6 hours. Add ice just before serving!
I include the instructions for sugared cranberries in my Christmas Charcuterie Board post — they work for both cranberries and rosemary!
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you could leave a rating and comment below! It’s so wonderful hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to share your creations with me by tagging @chenee_today on Instagram!
More Holiday Ideas You’ll Love!
- Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte (Starbucks Copycat)
- Brie and Cranberry Tart
- Quirky Baking Gifts for the Bakers on your List
- Eggnog Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Rum Sauce
- Christmas Charcuterie Board
Mistletoe Margarita – Frosted Cranberry MargaritasPrint Pin Recipe Rate Recipe
Equipment you may need
- cocktail shaker
- vegetable peeler
- ½ cup (50 g) cranberries - fresh or frozen
- ½ cup (110 g) agave nectar - light or amber
- ½ cup (118 g) water
- 2-3 strips orange peel
- 1 cinnamon stick - or ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 whole cloves - optional
- 4 oz (1 l) tequila reposado - ½ cup
- 2 oz (57 ml) lime juice - ¼ cup
- Cinnamon sticks, cranberries, rosemary sprigs, lime and orange slices - optional; for garnish
Prepare Cranberry Agave Syrup
- Add cranberries, water, agave nectar, orange peel, cinnamon stick, and cloves to a small saucepan and stir.½ cup cranberries, ½ cup agave nectar, ½ cup water, 2-3 strips orange peel, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole cloves
- Bring to a boil, then turn heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring, about 10-15 minutes or until cranberries have begun to break down.
- Transfer to a heatproof container, pouring through a fine-mesh sieve to strain out solids. Set aside to cool.
- Add tequila, lime juice, and 2 ounces (¼ cup) of cranberry-agave syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and cover.4 oz tequila reposado, 2 oz lime juice
- Shake 15-30 seconds and then pour into two chilled glasses filled with ice. Garnish as desired, and enjoy!ice, Cinnamon sticks, cranberries, rosemary sprigs, lime and orange slices
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