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I can drink margaritas the year round. So can Suzi. Hence, we are married. When these holidays roll around, and cranberries are abundant, then a festive cranberry margarita cannot be surpassed. The cranberry syrup/gel here is marvelous with other beverage combinations. Try some rum. Yumm!

Deep and husky, leaving a pulsating flavor deep in the back of your throat. It can be hard to describe the impact of tequila on your palate.

Of course, the particularly intense flavor in this beverage comes not from tequila but from the cranberries. You’ll think you are tasting tequila, but take a spoonful on the side of the cranberry syrup/gel and you’ll realize that the dense, throaty flavor you are experiencing is cranberry, pure, delightful cranberry. Well, not pure. I will say that the tequila and triple sec and lemon juice probably do make some contributions.

But that key flavor is cranberry.

So, the recipe includes both the margarita itself and the cranberry syrup/gel. I say “syrup/gel” because it is liquid when you make it, but if you refrigerate, you have gel. Not to worry. It’s a soft gel, that you can reliquify with a whisk and perhaps just a touch of additional liquid [water, cranberry juice, or tequila].

The color here is striking. The flavor delicious. We served this on Thanksgiving, as liquid pathway to turkey. Everyone asked for more and more was happily made. Tis the seasons for cranberries and margaritas are always in season. Time for a holiday marriage of flavors.

Cranberry Margarita

Yield: scale to need


  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 part cranberry syrup [recipe follows]
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 part anejo tequila


Combine the ingredients in a pitcher and stir well. In batches, if needed, pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until quite cold. Serve in glasses filled with ice.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5 for1/60th second at ISO 1250


Cranberry Syrup/Gel

Yield: ~4 cups


  • 2 standard bags of cranberries
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 cups of sugar


Wash the cranberries and place in an 8 cup saucepan. Add 4 cups of water. Add the zest and the juice of the orange.

Bring the water to a simmer and, over the next 30 minutes, occasionally stir the berries and use the spoon to gently break the berries. When the berries are almost or all broken, strain the liquid into a bowl. Discard the orange zest pieces and cranberry skins.

Place the liquid back in the saucepan. Add the sugar, stir to mix, and turn on the heat. Bring to low boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.

Cool to room temperature for immediate use. Refrigerate for future use. The syrup will gel up, but is easily reliquified by whisking with a modest amount of new liquid.

Source: Brian O’Rourke