This Hot Spiced Orange Cranberry Gin Cocktail is an easy family friendly drink to serve on special occasions. Easily tailored for adults or kids, this simple cocktail or mocktail recipe is full of spices like cinnamon, allspice and cloves, and makes a perfect fall drink. Garnished with a rim of orange sugar, and with an optional addition of gin, this hot cranberry drink is a perfect beverage to serve at family dinner parties.
I love having family dinner parties. Whether its with family or friends, having a house of people, laughter and love is a blessing that can’t be denied. Especially during the holiday seasons, people tend to gather together more often – and where there is gathering, there is often eating and drinking!
Because we have small children, and we often have families over who also have small children, I love including them in what the adults are enjoying, too. My children are huge fans of a good charcuterie board, and I love being able to craft a special mocktail for kids as well.
How to serve this spiced cranberry orange drink
When it comes to serving special drinks at dinner parties, I long for easy and simple recipes that don’t require a lot of dirty dishes, a lot of ingredients, or a lot of work. This Hot Spiced Cranberry Orange Cocktail is the perfect fall and winter special drink recipe because it is super simple to make, and it can easily be tailored for children or adults.
Serve as a cranberry gin cocktail for adults
This easy cocktail is ready in minutes! Simply make the warm spiced cranberry orange base ahead of time and allow it to either stay warm in a small slow cooker or in a saucepan on low on the stovetop. When you are ready to serve, garnish your glass with the orange sugar, pour in your shot of gin, and then top off your glass with the spiced cranberry orange drink.
Serve as a warm cranberry punch recipe for kids
This makes a fantastic easy mocktail recipe that can be quickly served to those who don’t want alcohol or for children. Because the warmed and spiced cranberry orange base is already ready to go, just pour the hot cranberry drink into glasses and serve. Garnishing the kids glasses with the orange sugar and a garnish stick of cranberries and orange peel is another fun addition that kids will love!
How Your Kids Can Help in the Kitchen:
- Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure the ingredients and mix the orange sugar.
- Kids aged 4-6 can help do everything above, plus help you zest the orange, make the cranberry orange garnish sticks, and stir the drink as it warms on the stove.
- Kids aged 7-10+ can help do everything above, plus help you garnish the cups.
*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.
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Hot Spiced Cranberry Orange Cocktail
For the cocktail
- 24 oz cranberry juice
- 12 oz orange juice
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 cloves
- 4 thin slices of ginger
- 2 oz gin
- 1 orange
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- For the cocktail
- Stir and allow to heat to desired temperature (serve a little cooler for children).
For Orange Cranberry Garnish:
- With a vegetable peeler, peel off 15 strips of orange peel.
- Using small wooden toothpicks, alternate dried cranberries and folded pieces of orange peel (you should have 3 dried cranberries and 2 strips of orange peel for each of the drinks) to create cute garnishes.
- Zest the remaining peel on the orange and mix with the 1/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl that is mostly flat on the bottom. You want to really mix and rub the orange zest into the sugar.
- Dip glasses upside down in a small dish of water - you want only the edge of the rim of the glass to get wet.
- Then dip into the orange sugar to create a sugared rim.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and whole spices from the saucepan with a slotted spoon.
- For adults, add in a shot of gin to the bottom of each glass, being careful not to drip on the sugared rim.
- Pour the hot spiced cranberry orange drink into the glasses carefully, and garnish with the toothpicks.