If you have leftover cranberries and pomegranates you didn’t use during the holidays and now wonder what to do with them, today’s gluten-free Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail recipe is right up your alley. With the perfect blend of sweet, tart flavors, this recipe adds just the right amount of pizzazz to any New Year’s Eve party. And all without the hassle of a complicated holiday recipe. No slicing cranberries, no meticulous peeling of pomegranate seeds. I literally remove the arils from the pomegranate without so much as a care in the world because the arils are getting cooked and then strained in this recipe, unlike 3-Ingredient Cranberry Pomegranate Spread in which they are served raw. So, if you get pieces of pomegranate in today’s recipe, just keep trudging along. This recipe will take care of itself.
Can we also gaze adoringly at that COLOR? Because, in addition to great flavor, this Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail recipe just oozes a festive look. You seriously cannot go wrong with leftover cranberries and pomegranates. You just can’t, Spiriteds. This recipe simply won’t allow it!
I made a few batches just to double-check what I thought was the best way to go. I was dead-set on a deep red color, and at first, the mixture had a yellowish hue.
Cue my horror. WHAT WOULD I DO???? Nothing except wait. Because fortunately, once I brought the mixture to what can only be described as a “bubbly boil,” I saw the color change to a deep red.
Now cue my utter relief because we have a cocktail, Spiriteds. It also turns out that preparing this Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail recipe is a lot like preparing a hot cup of tea with rum and lime juice added. #Same
If you’ve successfully made a cup of tea, then you’re ready to make this cocktail. And if you haven’t made a cup of tea before, well, never mind. Just go ahead and make this Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail recipe anyway.
When I prepared mine, I wanted to get an even redder color, so I kept the lid on the saucepan even after removing it from the heat and let the cranberries and pomegranates steep in the hot water. While it took longer to cool, the result was totally worth it. It was, in a word, GORGEOUS. Once the mixture cooled, I strained it into a bowl and then stirred in the rum and lime juice.
You may be wondering whether you can double this recipe or reuse the cranberry pomegranate pulp with another round of water. The answers are YES and YES. To double the batch just make sure your saucepan is large enough to hold 4 cups of cranberries, arils from two pomegranates, and 4 cups of water. If you choose to reuse the cranberries and pomegranate arils in another round of cocktails, then confidently go forth with your plans. Just know the color won’t be as deep and the flavor slightly diluted (but still delicious) by comparison. In the end, you’ll walk away with the perfect quantity for a small cozy gathering of friends.
I also like to set aside a few fresh cranberries and arils to add just prior to serving. And then it’s time to savor your Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail while ringing in the New Year!
Cranberry Pomegranate Cocktail
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 2 cups 1x
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- Arils of one pomegranate
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup 100% pure honey (paleo) or agave nectar (vegan)
- 1/3 cup rum
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Combine cranberries, arils, water, and honey or agave nectar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Remove from heat to cool for about 20-30 minutes. Keep covered during cooling process for a deeper color and stronger flavor. When cooled, pour mixture through a mesh strainer. Set aside cranberry pomegranate pulp and add rum and lime juice to the liquid in the bowl. Pour liquid over ice in wine glasses and garnish with extra cranberries and pomegranate arils, if desired.
Cook time is an approximation. The longer the mixture sits, the deeper in color it will become and the stronger the flavor will be. After straining the mixture from the saucepan, you CAN reuse the cranberry pomegranate pulp in a subsequent batch by adding more water and honey to the saucepan. The follow-up batch won’t be as deep in color or flavor but will still taste delicious.