This Skinny Cranberry Margarita is made with fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, cranberry juice and tequila for the most delicious tequila cranberry cocktail! A low calorie holiday cocktail that can be enjoyed together.
This Spiced Cranberry Margarita is a festive take on my classic Skinny Margarita. Skinny margaritas are a low-calorie option to the traditional margarita, making this margarita recipe makes the perfect healthy holiday cocktail.
During the holiday season, there’s so much cranberry to go around. Cranberry sauce, Cranberry Winter Aperol Spritz, homemade Cranberry Soda, and cranberry desserts of every kind. But let’s be real, I think the favorite might have to be this tequila and cranberry juice combination!
I have a preference for tequila drinks, with my favorite, weirdly enough, being the skinny margarita. I’m not one to choose a drink based on the calories, I actually prefer the citrus-forward flavor instead. My favorite low calorie tequila drinks (hello Ranch Water) are this way - strong with the lime flavor!
What is a Skinny Margarita?
A skinny margarita is a low calorie tequila drink; a version of the typical margarita.
A traditional margarita consists of fresh-squeezed lime juice, orange liquor (cointreau, triple sec, or gran marnier) and tequila. A skinny margarita replaces the orange liquor with fresh squeezed orange juice.
- Lime - Fresh limes are absolutely essential for a margarita. In the chance that you run out of limes while making margaritas, you can substitute for lemons, but the solution will be a tad sweeter.
- Orange - For a skinny margarita, you need fresh oranges. I used Navel Oranges, but you can feel free to use whatever kind you like most!
- Tequila - Tequila is a must have for a skinny margarita. I always recommend having a solid tequila option as a part of your essential bar! Either a reposado or blanco tequila. If you want to try a different smokier option, substitute for mezcal.
- Unsweetened Cranberry Juice or Pure Cranberry Juice - this is the final ingredient that transitions the traditional recipe into a delicious cranberry cocktail! Aim for unsweetened cranberry juice made from cranberries alone, not cranberry juice made from concentrate. You can always make your own cranberry juice!
Best Tequila to Use
There are three main kinds of tequila being: blanco tequila, reposado, and añejo.
Of those, there are two types of tequila to use in a margarita: reposado or blanco. Because reposado is aged longer than blanco, it adds extra dynamic flavor. However, blanco tequila is also ideal because it has a light flavor.
Añejo tequila is best for sipping neat, and extra añejo is for special occasions (at least at my home!). I would refrain from using this kind of tequila when making any type of tequila mixed drink.
Cinnamon Salt + Sugar Rim
Instead of the traditional salt rim, a great option for this festive cranberry margarita is a CINNAMON SUGAR AND SALT RIM.
I know, I know … I can’t believe I haven’t made it myself on any other margarita recipe. It’s like having a churro rim, and doesn’t that sound like a dream!
You’ll need sugar, salt and cinnamon
You’ll need: margarita salt, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, water or honey/agave nectar, and two small plates or a plate and salt rimmer.
I tend to not like sugar rims on a margarita, so this was a great balance for me. But if you tend to go sugar-forward, use only the sugar and cinnamon. If you do want to go salty-sweet, I prefer using margarita salt as it tends to be thicker and tastier than regular kosher salt.
You don’t need equipment for a salt rimmer, you can definitely use a small plate instead!
How to salt a margarita glass
Adding a sugar-salt rim should be done before making the cocktail! It is completely optional.
First, pour the margarita salt, cinnamon and sugar onto the small plate. Stir to combine.
Pour water onto a plate, or if you’d like to have a honey/agave nectar rim, pour a small drizzle on a plate.
Dip the margarita glass straight down in the water or honey, to cover the rim of the glass only. Rotate the glass around in a circle to make sure the entire rim is covered.
Gently dip the glass into the margarita salt-sugar mixture on the plate, and turn the glass in a full circle to ensure the salt sticks. Place upright and continue with making the cranberry margarita!
Making a skinny margarita is simple, five step process!
STEP ONE: Add ice into a cocktail shaker or mason jar.
STEP TWO: Squeeze the lime and orange directly into the cocktail shake or mason jar. Pour in the cranberry juice.
STEP THREE: Add the tequila.
STEP FOUR: Shake for 15-seconds, until the shaker or mason jar is frozen to touch.
STEP FIVE: Strain into an old-fashioned cup filled with ice.
Garnish like a Boss
The thing that makes any margarita all the more beautiful is adding some fun garnish. And there’s a few really fun ways to make this holiday tequila drink all the more festive! Try any of the below, or combine more than one!
- Sugared cranberries
- Fresh cranberries
- Orange slice (to make it even more holiday, stick cloves in the orange’s flesh!)
- Cinnamon stick
Frequently Asked Questions
Of the 3 main kinds of tequila, there are two to use in a margarita: reposado or blanco. Because reposado is aged longer than blanco, it adds extra dynamic flavor. However, blanco tequila is also ideal because it has a light flavor.
You don’t need to add simple syrup in margaritas. Some people add agave nectar or simple syrup to add a little sweetness and you definitely can.
If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, use a mason jar instead.
- Red Sangria Margarita
- Spicy Carrot Mezcal Margaritas
- Blackberry & Rosemary Margaritas
- Traditional Skinny Margarita
Skinny Cranberry Margarita
- Cocktail Shaker
- 2 ounces Orange Juice about ½-1 orange
- 1 ounce Lime Juice about 1 lime
- 2 ounces Tequila
- 2 ounces Cranberry Juice (not from concentrate)
Cinnamon Churro - Sugar-Salt Rim (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
Sugar-Salt Rim (optional)
- Adding a sugar-salt rim should be done before making the cocktail, but is completely optional. First, pour the margarita salt, cinnamon and sugar onto the small plate. Stir to combine.1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar, 1 tablespoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- Pour water onto a plate, or if you’d like to have a honey/agave nectar rim, pour a small drizzle on a plate.
- Dip the margarita glass straight down in the water or honey, to cover the rim of the glass only. Rotate the glass around in a circle to make sure the entire rim is covered.
- Gently dip the glass into the margarita salt-sugar mixture on the plate, and turn the glass in a full circle to ensure the salt sticks. Place upright and continue with making the cranberry margarita!
Making the Skinny Margarita
- Add ice, freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, tequila and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker or mason jar.2 ounces Orange Juice, 1 ounce Lime Juice, 2 ounces Cranberry Juice, 2 ounces Tequila
- Shake for 15-seconds, until cold to touch.
- Strain into glass filled with fresh ice.
- Garnish with fresh orange slice, lime slice or cinnamon stick!