This Reindeer Cocktail is bright red – like Rudolph’s nose – and a perfect Christmas cocktail!
It is made with vodka, cranberry simple syrup, and tonic water giving it a fizzy note.
Serve this vodka cocktail as your signature holiday beverage at festive parties and gatherings.
I’ve got more Reindeer Crafts and Recipes for you to enjoy – right-click and open a new tab to read next.
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The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.
Cranberries and Christmas go hand-in-hand, and these round red jewels are used to make the cranberry simple syrup that forms the base of this Holiday cocktail!
Simple syrups are really simple to make! In its most basic form, it is sugar and water mixed together (either cold or warm) until the sugar is dissolved.
To make a flavored syrup, which in this recipe is cranberry, the berries are simmered with the sugar and water in a saucepan and then strained to remove the solids.
Flavored simple syrups keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. The basic syrup stores for up to a month. You’ll know it has turned bad if the syrup turns cloudy, or smells horrible.
Use your favorite brand of vodka in this Christmas cocktail – or you could even try a flavored version. I bet vanilla, orange, pear, or apple vodka would pair really well!
Make sure you check out our list of amazing Christmas Cocktail Recipes to get you in the spirit! Right-click and open a new tab to read next.
More Cocktails To Make
Want to make more cocktails? I think you’re going to love these ones:
- Skittles Vodka Cocktail + How To Infuse Vodka with Skittles Candy
- Hot Buttered Rum Recipe
- Christmas Margaritas
Reindeer Cocktail Variations
I like to try and give variations on the cocktails shared on The Purple Pumpkin Blog, and especially turning the cocktail into a mocktail so that non-drinkers (and kids if suitable) can enjoy the drink too!
Virgin Reindeer Mocktail (non-alcoholic)
So that non-drinkers can enjoy a Reindeer Mocktail simply leave out the vodka and top the syrup up with tonic water for adults, and with lemon-lime soda or sparkling lemonade for the kids.
Frozen Reindeer Cocktail
Want to turn this festive cocktail into a frozen slushie? Easy! Put all the ingredients in a blender with a generous amount of crushed ice – then blend till smooth. Serve with a straw, and watch out for brain freeze! You could do the same with the mocktail version too.
Reindeer Cocktail Party Punch
Want to make this red Christmas cocktail for a crowd? It’s so easy!
This recipe is already written to serve 8 people, so simply double, triple, or more the recipe and you are good to go!
Make sure you add plenty of ice to your serving receptacle of choice to keep the cocktail chilled and add fresh cranberries and mint leaves in there too.
You could also skewer the cranberries and mint onto cocktail picks and leave a plateful near the glasses so that guests can garnish their drinks.
Speaking of which, place cocktail glasses in the bar/serving area along with a filled ice bucket.
This cocktail recipe is intended for adults of the legal drinking age in your country of residence.
Please drink responsibly. Do not drink and drive.
How Do I Make a Reindeer Cocktail?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, any pics don’t print to save your ink!).
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 12 oz / 340g fresh cranberries
- 2 limes
- 1L tonic water
- 2 cups vodka
- Ice cubes
- Fresh cranberries and mint sprigs for garnish
- Place water, sugar, and cranberries into a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil.
- Immediately reduce to low heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
- Strain the syrup into a bowl and discard the solids. Leave to cool.
- To make the cocktail, slice the limes in half and squeeze into a large pitcher.
- Add the tonic water and vodka.
- Add the cooled syrup to the pitcher and stir to combine.
- Pour into glasses filled with ice and top with fresh cranberries and mint.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 399Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 3gSugar: 64gProtein: 0g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
The beverage is covered, but what about other dishes to make this recipe into a full meal? Here are my suggestions!
- Appetizer: Hearty Minestrone Soup with Arugula
- Main Dish: One-Pan Chicken Cacciatore – Italian Hunter’s Stew
- Side Dish: Italian Roasted Vegetables
- Dessert: Unicorn Reindeer Cupcakes
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy! Please feel free to check them out too.
The Create the Holidays series on The Purple Pumpkin Blog is filled with free printables, crafts, recipes, and more for Christmas and the Winter Holidays!
You can check out Create the Holidays (formerly Create Christmas) from 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013, and 2012 for tons of awesome Holiday ideas and inspiration!