Nick Mixes: Not Your Grandpa’s Cranberry Cocktail



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I'm Kris, trained chef, culinary nutritionist and busy mom, here to help you take the stress out of healthy eating with flexible meal planning, simplified meal prep and easy budget-friendly meals.

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Note from Kris: My husband (Nick) has been a fan of mixing cocktails for, well, far before we met- but creating his own for a few years now, and he makes some delicious drinks (fun fact: he had a short stint bartending at a local yacht club during college but I can pretty much guarantee they weren’t asking for fancy cocktails).⁠

I challenged him to come up with a few holiday-themed drinks and he happily obliged– so welcome to our newest monthly blog feature, Nick Mixes!

With the holiday season upon us, I’ve been trying to find new ways to get every bit of Fall flavor into my days. From baked goods to dinner recipes there has been no shortage by any means, but I’ve felt like something was missing…

Enter in: Not your Grandpa’s Cranberry Cocktail. This cocktail is the perfect drink for Thanksgiving, or a usual Thursday afternoon– no judgement here! It is inspired by everyone’s favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, the cranberry sauce.

Personally, the best cranberry sauce that I’ve come across to date is my father-in-law’s family recipe. Rumor has it that it has been passed down from his mother, and her mother before that. The sauce balances the tartness of the cranberries with notes of cinnamon and a hint of orange that elevates the flavors to a whole new level.

This perfect afternoon cocktail does its best to replicate this tradition, creating the best Thanksgiving cocktail that is sure to wow your family and friends.


2-3oz cranberry juice

1.5-2 oz fireball

.5 oz triple sec


Mix the ingredients together in a shaker with ice.

Shake well and pour over ice into a rocks glass.

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an orange twist.

Cocktail insider tips to help you create the best homemade cocktail:

  1. Shake all ingredients together with ice and pour it into another glass. This will cool the liquid without watering down the drink.
  2. Fireball is a very sweet liquor. For a tarter drink, try to use cranberry juice with less sugar or sweeteners to balance the sweetness of the liquor.
  3. Adding garnish helps to enhance the entire experience of the cocktail. Adding splashes of color and scent expands the flavor and experience.

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