Holiday Cocktails | Satsuma Orange Vodka | Gin Cranberry Fizz

I think orange should have a prominent place in all celebrations.  Who decided on red?

Of course I’m biased.  Since I was small I’ve favored orange.  Orange life savors, orange gummies, orange soda.  I think it’s genetic. My son Mark has loved orange from the time he could express himself.  Orange toys, orange foods and orange clothes.  One summer he wore swim goggles every where he went.  Not just to the pool, EVERYWHERE. When I finally asked him why he constantly wore those swim goggles he said “Because I like orange Mom” To which I replied “Yes, but Mark, your goggles are purple.” Mark said, “maybe, but when I wear these goggles my whole world is orange.” I tried them on and sure enough they looked like silver reflective lenses on the outside but on the inside they were orange lenses and when I put them to my eyes everything in sight was orange. He’s still that kid!  He sees the world through creative, kind and colorful lenses.

I still love orange.  Any citrus really but now I’m finding more adult ways to work this amazing fruit into my menu. Today I’m sharing two cocktail recipes.  The first incorporates, you guessed it, oranges.   Winter is the season for sweet juicy Satsuma oranges so that’s the hero in this recipe. Have you ever infused your own vodka.  Sure you can buy flavored vodkas in dozens of flavors from many brands but nothing beats a fresh batch of home made Satsuma infused vodka.  It is a perfect way to brighten any party.

Satsuma Orange Vodka Cocktail

For the satsuma infused vodka


  • 1 cup vodka
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 6 satsuma mandarin oranges, peeled
  • ¾ cup Grand Marnier
  • ¼ cup lime juice


  • Combine vodka, sugar, and satsumas in a food processor or blender; process until pureed.
  • Refrigerate orange mixture for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a 4 cup measuring cup or large bowl, pressing to extract juice. Discard solids.
  • Stir in Grand Marnier and lime juice.

For each cocktail


  • ½ cup satsuma infused vodka
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate liqueur
  • ¼ cup sparkling water or to taste
  • Ice
  • Lime slice, for garnish


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add satsuma vodka and pomegranate liqueur. Shake for 15 seconds.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass and top with sparkling water.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime.


If you’re a purist and red is your holiday color I’ve got just the thing.  A Cranberry Gin Fizz with fresh sugared cranberries.  They’re so easy to make and they kind of look winter wonderland-ish!

Cranberry Gin Fizz


  • one heaping tablespoon cranberry sauce
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) gin
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) orange liqueur, such as triple sec or cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce cranberry infused simple syrup (optional recipe below)
  • Club soda or sparkling water
  • Ice
  • sugared cranberries, for garnish, recipe below
  • Rosemary sprig, for garnish


  • Add the cranberry sauce, gin, triple sec, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  • Pour into a tumbler class and top with club soda or sparkling water.
  • Garnish with orange slice and rosemary sprig.

What to do with all those leftover cranberries?  They are a pretty way to add festivity to any holiday platter, cheese plate or dessert.  Today I added my extra cranberries to a ready made cheese cake to add a little Christmas festivity to our dessert.Sugared Cranberries


  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries


  • Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in cranberries until well coated. Let cool.
  • Drain liquid into a bowl (cranberry infused simple syrup). Reserve for cocktail.
  • Place remaining sugar into a container or pan with sides. Add wet cranberries. Toss and roll cranberries in remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar until well coated; let dry for at least 1 hour.
  • If you decide to thread your cranberries onto a sprig of rosemary it works best to thread the berries then coat with sugar.  Otherwise the sugar falls off when you try to thread them. 

Enjoy! xo


About the Author

Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. Her Blog, Table and Dish is a website devoted to celebrating and curating the many ways that food binds us. Sally hopes that her recipes and images will inspire you to gather your friends and family in the kitchen to make memories, use the time to connect with busy kids, chat over mixing bowls, get messy, laugh, sing, set the table, clear the table, pass the salt, debate the days topics and pray. You can follow her here or as a weekly contributor to 365Barrington and Heinen’s via 356Barrington.



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