If you're in the mood for a light and refreshing cocktail, it's hard to beat a classic margarita. Even better, you don't need to wait until Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo to enjoy it. Plus, because this drink has been around for so long, there are tons of variations to make it even more enticing.
One of our favorites is a cranberry margarita mocktail that uses a non-alcoholic tequila alternative. Fortunately, Seir Hill has one of the tastiest spirits around, Durangold. If you want to sip on something bold and delicious, this recipe is one of the best options around. Get your cocktail shakers ready - let's get started!
A Brief History of the Margarita Cocktail
Because the margarita has been around for so long, the true origins of this cocktail are about as muddled as a tall Mojito on a hot day. However, some stories place the origins in Mexico, while others credit an entrepreneurial tequila salesman in the states. Here's the lowdown on some of the legends surrounding this particular beverage.
- Mexican Origins - The earliest known mention of a margarita cocktail dates back to 1930 and Bertha's Bar in Taxco, Mexico. However, the bar's owner, Dona Bertha, wasn't one for marketing gimmicks and grand displays, so her creation didn't really make a splash, at least not as much as others.
- A Gift Fit for a Lady - Another Mexican margarita legend says that the beverage was the brainchild of bartender David "Danny" Negrete. Negrete was the manager of the Hotel Garci Crespo in Tehuacan, Puebla in 1936. According to the story, his girlfriend liked salty drinks, so after some experimentation, Negrete created the margarita. But the story doesn't end there. Apparently, he took his recipe to the Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana, and the cocktail took off from there. The racetrack even claims to be the birthplace of the margarita to this day.
- A Crafty Liquor Distributor - This origin story may not be entirely factual, but it does include real people, real locations, and serves as the backbone of how the margarita came to the states. So, while the cocktail may not have been born this way, it certainly became popular because of it. In this version, an LA liquor distributor named Vernon Underwood was trying to find a way to use Jose Cuervo tequila, which was brand-new at the time (1937). So, he asked his bartender friend Johnny Durlesser at the Tail O' the Cock bar to make something. Durlesser created the margarita, and history was made.
Regardless of who actually invented the margarita, the fact remains that this cocktail is a staple of bars and restaurants everywhere. It's a delicious beverage that can be enjoyed all year round, especially when you mix other fruits (like cranberries) to the mix.
How Cranberry Margaritas Can Fit Into the Holiday Season
Typically, margaritas are seen as a spring and summer drink, thanks to the fruity flavors and delicate balance mixture of salt and sweet. However, during the holiday season, margarita variations can keep the spirit as popular as ever while fitting into the fall and winter aesthetic.
This cranberry margarita mocktail recipe is the perfect way to celebrate with friends and family. You can have a glass at Thanksgiving dinner or serve them at your next office holiday party. It's a versatile drink that is sure to liven the mood without the risk of anyone having "one too many."
What You'll Need to Make a Cranberry Margarita Mocktail
As with a regular margarita, you'll need a margarita glass, a cocktail shaker, and a dish to make the rim. But, since this version is a bit fruitier, we recommend swapping sugar for salt. However, if you still prefer your cocktail salted, you can go the traditional route instead. The full list of tools include:
- Cocktail Shaker
- Sugar Rim Dish
- Knife (for cutting the lime)
- Margarita or Tumbler Glass
Ingredients to Make a Cranberry Margarita Mocktail
- 2 oz Durangold Tequila Alternative
- 2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice (squeezed, if possible)
- 1 ounce alcohol free orange liqueur
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- Sugar (for the rim)
- Lime Wedge for Garnish
How to Make a Cranberry Margarita Mocktail
First, you have to prep your margarita glass. You can also use a tumbler or martini glass if you don't have the right stemware. All you need to do is rub the inside of a lime peel around the edge and stick it into a dish full of sugar. The lime juice should keep it in place.
Next, pour all of the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake thoroughly until chilled, then strain into the margarita glass. We recommend adding a lime wedge as a garnish, but you can also use a cranberry instead.
If you're making a big batch to serve to more guests, we recommend mixing enough for four glasses at a time. If you go higher than that, it's hard to keep the same flavor balance.
Also, if you're looking to make a low-alcohol version of this mocktail, you can use regular Triple Sec or orange liqueur.
Cranberry Margarita Mocktail Alternatives
What we love about this recipe is that it's customizable to suit your preferences. Some alternative options include:
- Make it Frozen - While frozen margaritas are often a summer thing, why not bust out the blender for a holiday party? In this case, you can use a little less cranberry juice and add frozen cranberries to the mix. Blend everything with enough ice to make it slushy, not runny.
- Add More Fruits - Since margaritas are already full of lime and orange flavoring, you can ramp up the taste by adding real oranges or limes to the mix. For a non-frozen drink, muddle the fruits at the bottom of the glass before straining the cocktail. If you're going the frozen route, simply add a few slices to the blender.
If you're interested in seeing what else you can do with Seir Hill's Durangold tequila alternative, you can find more mocktail recipes here. We're also offering a combo pack of our top three non-alcoholic spirits so you can keep the party going without the hangover.