Easy 3 Ingredient Vodka Cranberry Lemonade

I’m no professional mixologist, so I’m always a sucker for easy cocktails, especially when I’m entertaining. This delicious vodka cranberry lemonade requires just 3 ingredients (plus ice) and takes about 5 minutes to put together. It’s sweet, tart, and perfect for summer or fall!

vodka cranberry lemonade cocktail recipe dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

I love this vodka cranberry lemonade cocktail because it’s so simple to make, requiring no special equipment and only a few minutes of time.

You can make a single glass, or scale it up to an entire pitcher if you’re planning for a crowd!

Cranberry and vodka is a classic combination, and it’s made even better with the addition of sweet and tart lemonade. It’s a drink that transitions well from summer to fall, with the cranberry flavors even complimenting your Thanksgiving spread!

two glasses of vodka cranberry lemonade with fresh lemon and cranberries

Of course, it also goes well with other fall parties, including your football games. You can even make it ahead of time, to get back to watching the game or socializing with family and friends sooner!

Ingredients List

ingredients to make vodka cranberry lemonade

For a Single Serving:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces prepared lemonade
  • 2 ounces cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes

For a Pitcher (Serves 5-6)

  • 2 cups vodka
  • 3 cups prepared lemonade
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

  • Feel free to use cranberry vodka for extra flavor, but I’ve noticed it’s difficult to find, which is why I use plain. Citrus flavored vodkas would also work!
  • I use Simply lemonade, but you can use any other prepared lemonade, make your own homemade, or use a frozen or powder concentrate
  • For a sweeter cocktail, use cranberry juice cocktail instead of 100% cranberry juice
  • You may also add additional cranberry juice to the mix if you’d like a weaker drink (or if you prefer a deeper red color). Alternatively, add more vodka or less lemonade for a stronger drink
  • Note that if you do only 1 ounce of cranberry juice, your drink will be pink instead of red (but still tasty)!

Variations and Creative Twists

  • Frozen Vodka Cranberry Lemonade: Add the drink and the ice to a blender, and blend on high until you have a slushy
  • Vodka Cranberry Lemonade Punch: Use half the lemonade and replace the other half with ginger ale or a lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite. Serve in a punch bowl with ice, sliced lemons, and fresh cranberries floating
  • Sparkling Vodka Cranberry Lemonade: Swap half the lemonade for lemon or cranberry flavored sparkling water to create a bubbly twist!
  • Herb-Infused Vodka: Infuse your vodka with herbs like rosemary or basil for a unique twist. The herbal notes complement the cocktail’s citrus and cranberry flavors beautifully
  • Spicy Vodka Cranberry Lemonade: Add a kick to your cocktail with a dash of hot sauce or muddled jalapeños. The spicy elements complement the cocktail’s sweet and tangy profile

How to Make Vodka Cranberry Lemonade

  1. Add vodka, lemonade, and cranberry juice to a glass or pitcher, and stir to combine
add vodka, lemonade, and cranberry juice to a glass
  1. Fill the glass with ice. If making a pitcher, fill your serving glasses with ice, then pour the vodka cranberry lemonade over top of it
add ice to the cranberry and vodka mixture
  1. Serve with a slice of lemon, loose or skewered cranberries, or a sprig of mint if desired
overhead view of vodka cranberry lemonade with lemon slices

Pairing With Food

Appetizers:

  • Bruschetta: The bright acidity of the cocktail pairs beautifully with the fresh tomato and basil flavors of bruschetta. The vodka cranberry lemonade’s zesty notes contrast superbly with the savory toppings. Try my Air Fryer Bruschetta for the perfect option!
  • Crispy Calamari: The crispiness of fried calamari pairs well with the refreshing citrusy notes of the cocktail. The tartness of the cranberry enhances the seafood’s flavor. My Frozen Calamari in the Air Fryer is a quick yet delicious option!

Main Courses:

  • Grilled Chicken Salad: A light and fresh salad with grilled chicken, mixed greens, and a zesty vinaigrette is an excellent choice. The cocktail’s fruity notes complement the salad’s vibrant ingredients. I use leftover Air Fryer Pesto Chicken to make a hearty, flavorful salad
  • Salmon: The vodka cranberry lemonade’s acidity complements the rich, buttery taste of salmon. The cocktail’s citrusy hints cut through the fish’s natural oils. Try my simple Air Fryer Salmon Bites for the perfect pairing!

Snacks:

  • Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses, such as brie, goat cheese, and sharp cheddar, pairs wonderfully with the cocktail. The vodka cranberry lemonade’s tartness balances the richness of the cheeses.
  • Mixed Nuts: If you prefer something simple, mixed nuts, like almonds and cashews, provide a satisfying crunch that contrasts nicely with the cocktail’s fruity profile. Honey Roasted Pecans in the Air Fryer are a great choice!

Desserts:

  • Fruit Sorbet: End your meal with a refreshing fruit sorbet, such as lemon or raspberry. The cocktail’s tangy flavors complement the sorbet’s natural sweetness
  • Lemon Bars: For a zesty dessert pairing, try lemon bars. The cocktail enhances the citrusy notes of the dessert, creating a harmonious combination

These are just some of the great pairing options you have for your vodka cranberry lemonade cocktail, but it’s in no way exhaustive. Don’t hesitate to experiment with your favorite dishes to find the perfect match! 

Recipe FAQs

Can I Use Different Types of Cranberry Juice?

Absolutely! While the recipe calls for 100% cranberry juice, you can experiment with various cranberry juice types. Opt for a cranberry juice cocktail if you prefer a sweeter flavor, or try cranberry blends like cran-apple or cran-grape for a unique twist.

It’s all about tailoring the taste to your preference, or what you can find in your local store.

Is Vodka Cranberry Lemonade a Summer Drink Only?

Not at all! Vodka cranberry lemonade is often associated with summer, thanks to its refreshing and citrusy profile. However, cranberry is typically used in fall and winter foods and beverages.

So, there’s truly no seasonality when it comes to enjoying this delightful cocktail. Feel free to savor it year-round. It can be equally enjoyable on a cozy winter evening by the fireplace!

What Are Some Alcohol-Free Alternatives?

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option, you can create a cranberry lemonade mocktail by omitting the vodka. It’s a deliciously tangy and fruity drink suitable for all ages.

Additionally, you can experiment with cranberry or lemon flavored sparkling water for a fizzy, alcohol-free version.

Can I Prepare a Large Batch for a Party?

Absolutely! Vodka cranberry lemonade is perfect for gatherings. To prepare a large batch, simply multiply the ingredients according to the pitcher directions in a pitcher or punch bowl.

Remember to adjust the sweetness and tartness levels to suit your guests’ tastes. Garnish with lemon slices and cranberries for an elegant presentation.

What’s the Best Way to Store Leftover Cocktail?

If you have leftover cocktail, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Ensure it’s well-sealed to prevent any loss of flavor. Before serving again, give it a good stir or shake to recombine the ingredients and refresh the taste.

It’s also best to only add ice before serving, so you don’t dilute the cocktail that’s in storage. The same goes for any fizzy additions you might make, as they will go flat overnight.

Are There Variations for Different Dietary Preferences?

Yes, there are options to accommodate various dietary preferences. For a lower-calorie version, use a sugar-free or reduced-sugar cranberry juice. To make it gluten-free, ensure the vodka you choose is gluten-free certified.

Vodka cranberry lemonade is typically plant-based and should be both vegan and vegetarian friendly, but always check your specific brand for any exceptions.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Glassware: I’m using rocks glasses, but you can also use highball or pint glasses, or anything similar
  • Feel free to throw some fresh or frozen cranberries into your glass or pitcher. They add nice color, and frozen ones help cool the drink down with less dilution!
two vodka cranberry lemonade cocktails on a tan mesh sheet with striped straws

Storage Tips

  • You can mix this drink up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Do not add ice or any carbonated items (if you’re making a variation) as you don’t want to dilute your cocktail or have it go flat. Add ice and garnish right before serving!

More Cranberry Creations to Try

Final Thoughts

With just 3 ingredients and a few minutes, you can make a perfectly refreshing vodka cranberry lemonade cocktail! It’s one of my favorite fall drinks, and I always have it as an option for company around Thanksgiving!

It’s so easy to make, whether you’re making just one glass or a whole pitcher for a crowd. You really can’t go wrong. Of course, there’s lots of fun variations and twists on the basic recipe to try, so feel free to make it your own.

The sweet lemonade and tart cranberries go perfectly with the vodka in this simple cocktail, that requires absolutely no bartending skills to be successful with. Now, that’s my kind of drink!

vodka cranberry lemonade cocktail recipe dinners done quick featured image

Vodka Cranberry Lemonade

This easy cranberry vodka lemonade cocktail requires just 3 ingredients plus ice, and only about 5 minutes to put together! It’s a delicious year round cocktail perfect for entertaining!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Servings 1
Calories 190 kcal

Equipment

  • Measuring cup (fluid)
  • Rocks or highball glass (or similar)

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Ounces vodka
  • 2 Ounces prepared lemonade (such as Simply Lemonade)
  • 2 Ounces 100% cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes

Instructions
 

  • Add vodka, lemonade, and cranberry juice to a glass or pitcher, and stir to combine
    2 Ounces vodka, 2 Ounces prepared lemonade, 2 Ounces 100% cranberry juice
  • Fill the glass with ice. If making a pitcher, fill your serving glasses with ice, then pour the vodka cranberry lemonade over top of it
    Ice cubes
  • Serve with a slice of lemon, loose or skewered cranberries, or a sprig of mint if desired

Notes

  • Feel free to use cranberry vodka for extra flavor, but I’ve noticed it’s difficult to find, which is why I use plain. Citrus flavored vodkas would also work!
  • I use Simply lemonade, but you can use any other prepared lemonade, make your own homemade, or use a frozen or powder concentrate
  • For a sweeter cocktail, use cranberry juice cocktail instead of 100% cranberry juice
  • You may also add additional cranberry juice to the mix if you’d like a weaker drink (or if you prefer a deeper red color). Alternatively, add more vodka or less lemonade for a stronger drink
  • Note that if you do only 1 ounce of cranberry juice, your drink will be pink instead of red (but still tasty)!
  • I’m using rocks glasses, but you can also use highball or pint glasses, or anything similar
  • Feel free to throw some fresh or frozen cranberries into your glass or pitcher. They add nice color, and frozen ones help cool the drink down with less dilution!
  • You can mix this drink up to 24 hours in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Do not add the ice, as you don’t want to dilute your cocktail. Add ice and garnish right before serving!
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand and flavor of ingredients and actual quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 178gCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSodium: 8.5mgPotassium: 61mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 14gVitamin C: 17.5mgCalcium: 6.8mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword cranberry lemonade cocktail, cranberry vodka recipe, fall beverage ideas, vodka cranberry cocktail, vodka cranberry lemonade, vodka drinks with cranberry, vodka lemonade cocktail
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vodka cranberry lemonade cocktail recipe dinners done quick pinterest
@ruthhiann

Cranberry Lemonade Cocktail🍋 ♥️ I’m trying to edit all of the summer drinks before August ends! Excited for the Fall and Holiday drinks! Whoohoo! 2 oz vodka 1/4 cup cranberry juice Top with lemonade #summerdrinks #drinksoftiktok #cocktails

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Katie Vine