I’ve never been a big fan of cocktails due to how sweet most of them are made. The only thing worse than a hangover is an alcohol and sugar hangover, don’t you think? I’ve had a few bad experiences in my younger years drinking those cheap, 2-litre bottles of sickly sweet coolers. The thought of drinking something so sugary now makes me a bit queasy. Since I’ve become more sensible in my years (or at least my mom says so), I now enjoy coming up with cocktail recipes that aren’t loaded with sugar and other junk. My go-to drink is usually a vodka soda with lime and sometimes a splash of cranberry juice. Simple, yet flavourful. It just lights up a room!
All without a lick of food dye. Best of all, it takes seconds to throw together. Thankfully, you don’t have to make a simple syrup for this cocktail, so you can get back to the party and out of the kitchen. If you’re like me and you usually leave the drinks to the last minute, you’ll appreciate how easy this comes together without anyone being the wiser.
Sparkling Cranberry Lime Cocktail
1 (16-ounce) glass
Festive, low in sugar, and super quick to throw together, this is a great last-minute holiday drink option for a party! Often referred to as a "Cape Codder", this mix of cranberry + lime + vodka is sure to please the folks who aren't crazy about sweet drinks. I love adding club soda instead of using all cranberry juice to give it a bit more bite and a pretty sparkle. The recipe below makes one large (16-ounce) glass, so feel free to increase the servings as you see fit. This cocktail comes in at under 100 calories and just 6 grams of sugar (or, if you omit the agave, only 3.5 grams of sugar).
- 1 ounce vodka (about 2 tablespoons)
- handful fresh cranberries (or thaw frozen)
- 2-3 lime slices
- 1/4 cup 100% pure unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1 cup club soda
- Agave nectar or other liquid sweetener, to taste (I use 1 teaspoon agave)
- Add the vodka into a 16-ounce tall glass. Now add a handful of cranberries and a couple lime slices. Add the ice on top.
- Pour in the cranberry juice followed by the club soda.
- Add a squeeze of lime juice (if desired) and agave to taste. Stir to combine.
- Enjoy immediately!
Note: 1) For a mocktail, simply omit the vodka and add a couple extra tbsp of cranberry juice. 2) For a fun variation, try pomegranate juice + arils instead of cranberry juice and cranberries.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Our first snowfall of the season arrived just in time for my photo shoot earlier this week. What luck. Mind you, I almost bailed on the wet snow while desperately clutching my camera for dear life, but that serves me right for going on the deck in my slippers. I’ll never learn.
Have a great weekend!
I am enjoying this drink right now! It is great! I forgot the cranberry juice but made my own. Since you add the whole cranberries anyway, I just boiled the bag of cranberries with 1 quart of water, had instant juice and cranberries…. Haha, my improvising skills are getting a lot better these days!
Agreed – the world needs far less sugary sweet cocktails! This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
This looks yummy even without the vodka which is good for an expecting Mama :)
I can’t wait to try this!
When I want a wholesome fruit juice, I make my own juice. I get a gallon jug, mine has a spout I take a bag of whole fresh(it can be frozen as I buy many bags of fresh cranberries because they are in season)
I take my bag of cranberries and wash and rewash them. I make sure I take out any that are white, bruised etc out. I pour them into my Vita mix or any strong blender and fill it up with water and frozen apple juice for sweetness and pulverize away. I either add very very little sugar, honey or agave. Pour all this into my gallon jug. I especially
love this because I am using whole cranberries and fresh frozen apple juice and yes float a few in your glass for presentation. I myslef do not drink alcohol.
so refreshing! this has always been my favorite drink- light and festive. also, if you are staying away from alcohol, you can omit the vodka and still feel festive!