I have a confession.  I have never been a fan of cranberry sauce.  Be it canned or fresh, I don’t want it anywhere near my turkey.  My family can easily finish the cranberry sauce without me.  I prefer to enjoy my Thanksgiving cranberry in cocktail form.

No celebration is complete without a little bubbly- champagne, sparkling wine, or even sparkling apple cider or ginger ale.  Any bubbles equals a party.

While cranberry and vodka is a classic pairing, add some sparkling wine and you’ve got yourself one elegant drink.  I used a demi-sec sparkling wine.  Demi-sec literally translates to “half dry” in French.  Demi-sec sparkling wines are a tad on the sweet side, meaning they pair well with fruits and desserts.  Brut is the most common, and it works well with sweet and savory foods.  However, if you like it REALLY sweet, I suggest trying Moscato d’Asti (a sweet Italian sparkling wine).

I also added a splash of Grand Marnier, an orange flavored cognac, to bring a little kick of citrus.  While you can use a more concentrated cranberry juice, I choose to use cranberry cocktail juice because it has enough sweetness to balance all the liquor.


This cocktail serves well in a traditional flute or a tumbler.  It’s a sweet, tart, and refreshing beverage that is sure to please dinner guests.

Sparkling Cranberry Cocktail, serves 1


1 Tbsp cranberry flavored vodka

1 Tbsp Grand Marnier

4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) cranberry cocktail juice, chilled

top with chilled sparking wine

lime wedge and fresh cranberries, for garnish


1. Gather all your ingredients and have them ready for assembly. Have a tablespoon or measuring shot glass available.

2. Add 1 Tbsp of cranberry vodka.

3.  Add 1 Tbsp of Grand Marnier.

4. Add 1/4 cup cranberry cocktail juice.  Top with chilled sparkling wine.  Garnish with lime wedge and fresh cranberries on a toothpick.

*note: You can prepare cranberry mixture ahead of time.  Mix together desired amount of servings of cranberry vodka, Grand Marnier and cranberry cocktail juice.  Stir together and keep chilled until ready to serve cocktails.  To serve, portion out about 6 Tbsp of cranberry mixture in a glass and top with chilled sparkling wine.


This cocktail can take you all the way to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.  And why stop there?  This is even suitable for Valentine’s Day!

Let’s toast to a happy Thanksgiving!  I wish you all a happy holiday season filled with much love, laughter, and cheer!