There is something just supremely festive about a bubbly cocktail for the holidays, don’t you think? This gin fizz not only has super satisfying bubbles, but it also has a beautiful layer of sweet foam on top that looks like fresh fallen snow!
Instead of the strong lemon flavor of a typical gin fizz, we’ve upped the holiday cheer by using a sweet and tangy cranberry simple syrup. This gives this cocktail a great Christmas flavor profile and a beautiful pink color that is sure to impress all the guests at your holiday party! A few of these along with some simple appetizers like our Rosemary Bacon Wrapped Dates, and your holiday party is set.
What is in a gin fizz?
A gin fizz is a classic cocktail that is bubbly, citrus-tart, and topped with a fizzy foam. It typically contains gin (obviously), lemon or lime juice, simple syrup, club soda, and an egg white (more on that in a sec).
The key difference between a regular gin fizz and this cranberry version is that we swapped out the simple syrup for a cranberry syrup. It amplifies the fruity tartness, and makes the drink perfect for fall and winter holidays!
What’s the difference between a gin fizz and a Tom Collins?
A lot of people get them mixed up because they have similar flavor profiles and ingredient lists. But a true gin fizz has a secret ingredient that a Tom Collins doesn’t—an egg white! This egg white gives the gin fizz a foamy, fizzy head that is unique.
Raw egg white? Eek!
That’s right! The old wives’ tale is that the citrus in the lemon juice chemically “cooks” the egg white, rendering it safe. I’m not sure how scientifically sound that is though, so we recommend using pasteurized eggs (often sold in major supermarkets) if you are worried or are immunocompromised. You can also leave it out if you want—your drink won’t be as fizzy, but it will still be delicious!
How do you make a gin fizz?
First up, you need to make the cranberry simple syrup. Just mix one part cranberry juice with one part granulated sugar, and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Easy as that!
From there, it’s time to mix it up!
- Add everything but the ice and club soda to a cocktail shaker, and shake, shake, shake for about 15 seconds.
- Add some ice, shake again, and pour into a glass—we recommend a low-ball or champagne glass—then top it off with club soda.
- If you’re feeling fancy and festive, garnish it with some fresh cranberries and/or rosemary sprigs.
What kind of cranberry juice should I use?
The cranberry juice aisle can be a bit overwhelming! But let’s demystify it. There are three main kinds of cranberry juice:
- Cranberry Juice Cocktail: This is a mixture of cranberry juice and typically other juices for sweetness (like apple and grape) and sometimes even added sugar or corn syrup.
- 100% Juice Cranberry: This is a mixture of cranberry juice and other juices for sweetness but no added sugars.
- 100% Cranberry Juice: This is where it gets REAL confusing, because swap the order of just two words, and you’ve got an entirely different product! This is just pure, unsweetened cranberry juice.
Any of these will work, but the 100% Cranberry Juice—sometimes also sold as “Pure Cranberry Juice”—will give you the most intense, tart, cranberry-tastic flavor!
Check the ingredients on your juice. “Cranberry juice” should be the only thing listed for the most cranberry flavor in this gin fizz.
Can I skip the egg?
Sure can! But then you’re basically just making a Tom Collins. The thick, fizzy foam is the true sign of a gin fizz, and without an egg white, it’s hard to achieve that.
What kind of gin should I use?
Because the gin flavor is prominent in this one, skip the bottom shelf gin. My rule of thumb: use the alcohol you like the best! We love Cardinal Spirits Standard Dry Gin, but whatever tastes good to you will make a good cocktail.