Christmas/ Cocktails

A Showstopping and Festive Cranberry Mule Cocktail

Let me tell you a tale. A tale of our first annual Friendsgiving party here in Pittsburgh. I spent DAYS cooking for our friends and was so excited to host our first event in a new house.

About an hour into Friendsgiving, my husband’s friend Justin shows up late, slamming the front door open and strolling into our house hauling a giant cooler. He elbows his way into the kitchen, clears off an entire counter, and proceeds to set up an elaborate bar station to make his Cranberry Mule cocktail. People squeezed into the kitchen to watch the show and grab these drinks.

Because Justin didn’t just stir up some cocktails. He pulled out 20+ copper mule mugs, a dish for sugaring the rim, and started assembling sugared cranberry skewers and rosemary sprig garnishes. Each one of these cocktails was CRAFTED, while Justin hilariously chatted up the crowd. We’re STILL talking about this scene several years later and requesting this cocktail recipe.

The Cranberry Mule is ice cold, tart, sweet, and so refreshing. It’s the perfect cocktail for a holiday celebration, from Christmas to New Year’s Eve. And the 100% mandatory garnish is clearly a show stopper. The beautiful deep green of the rosemary contrasted with the sugar-coated cranberries looks elegant and special and will absolutely impress your guests!

This is also an easy recipe to batch and prep ahead, meaning less time and mess making drinks for family and friends and more time consuming said drinks. See the notes section of the recipe below for make ahead tips.

Cranberry Mule Cocktail

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By Chrissie | Stirs and Stripes Serves: 1 Cocktail


  • 2-2.5 oz chilled vodka (depends how strong you like your drink)
  • 2.5 oz cranberry juice
  • ginger beer to top
  • wedge of lime to squeeze and slice of lime to garnish
  • 1 rosemary sprig



Fill mule mug with ice and set aside.


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add the vodka, cranberry juice, and squeeze the wedge of lime. Shake to combine.


Strain into the mule mug.


Pour ginger beer to top (too much ginger beer will overpower the cranberry flavor so go lighter on this).


Add a slice of lime and wedge of rosemary.


Lay the bamboo skewer of cranberries flat across the top of the mug and serve!


Soak the cranberries in chilled simple syrup ahead of time, and then to assemble roll them in granulated sugar and then gently slide onto a bamboo drink skewer. To make this in a batch for multiple drinks, mix ahead of time the vodka, cranberry, and squeezed lime juice. Store in a container in the fridge, and then for serving top each glass with ginger beer and garnish. You can prepare batches of the cranberry skewers ahead of time and then glaze with extra simple syrup and roll in sugar. For two drinks I would use 1/2 lime, 4-5 oz vodka, and 5 oz cranberry.

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  • Allison
    December 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    I am still SO sad that I missed Friendsgiving and these amazing drinks.

    • Chrissie
      December 16, 2020 at 11:55 am

      NEXT YEAR! We’re talking pig roast…