Poinsettia Cooler

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Cocktail History

The Poinsettia Cooler is a Christmas cocktail that was created by food writer and author Jessica Strand and was first published in her book Very Merry Cocktails: 50+ Festive Drinks for the Holiday Season. It was inspired by and named for the seasonal flower indigenous to Central America that dons holiday displays at Christmastime. As a nod to the poinsettia’s origin, the recipe uses tequila as a base and pairs the agave spirit with tart cranberry juice, a tangy homemade shrub, and lime juice to make a zesty and beautiful drink.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Tequila Reposado: This is the base spirit. It’s a type of tequila made with the blue agave plant that is aged from two to twelve months. We used Casamigos Tequila Reposado because it’s smooth and clean with notes of caramel. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Agave Reserva Spirit in place of the tequila.

Cranberry Juice: This is the liquid juice of a fresh cranberry. We used Simple Organic Cranberry Cocktail.

Cranberry Shrub: This is a syrup made with cranberries, aromatics, sugar, and vinegar. We made ours using Alex’s stovetop recipe.

Lime Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lime. We used freshly squeezed lime juice.

Cranberries: These are the other garnish.

Tasting Notes

The Poinsettia Cooler features tangy vinegar and sweet agave aromas, and it has a well-balanced flavor that consists of tart cranberry, sour shrub, aged agave, and citrus with just enough sweetness to round it out on the finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We were skeptical of this recipe, but how delicious it was ended up blowing us away. The vinegar’s ability to mingle with the other tart ingredients helps everything stand out without being overbearingly sour. Please add this to your Christmas cocktail shortlist, and even consider switching the spirit up for some other fun variations.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Given the portions used in this drink, I didn’t expect it to be balanced or tasty at all, but I was incredibly surprised at how much it was. The cranberry lends its tartness to the mix while the vinegar in the shrub takes the tart flavor up to eleven, but somehow there’s still enough sugar to balance it all back out. While I do think three entire ounces of tequila for one drink is a little too much indulgence for my taste, I did have a hard time sharing this drink with Kendall. Good thing we accidentally served it up instead of on the rocks the first time and had to make another.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“My lips puckered up with just one taste of this refreshing cocktail. As Alex mentioned, the cranberry shrub is really the linchpin in this recipe; it wouldn’t be the same without its tangy vinegar flavor because it balances the tart and somewhat bitter cranberry so well. Tequila was also a good choice for a base spirit, in my opinion. It adds an interesting agave twist, but I did wonder what gin would taste like as well. If you want a light, cool drink at the holidays, add this to the menu. It’s really great, and the shrub gives it a wonderfully weird, thirst-quenching effect!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Very Merry Cocktails: 50+ Festive Drinks for the Holiday Season by Jessica Strand.

Very Merry Cocktails: 50+ Festive Drinks for the Holiday Season
Very Merry Cocktails: 50+ Festive Drinks for the Holiday Season
Hardcover Book; Strand, Jessica (Author); English (Publication Language); 128 Pages – 09/22/2020 (Publication Date) – Chronicle Books (Publisher)
$19.95

AuthorVery Merry Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 3 oz Tequila Reposado
 2 oz Cranberry Juice
 1 oz Lime Juice
 3 Cranberries

Method
1

Add tequila, cranberry juice, cranberry shrub, lime juice, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with cranberries.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 3 oz Tequila Reposado
 2 oz Cranberry Juice
 1 oz Lime Juice
 3 Cranberries

Directions

Method
1

Add tequila, cranberry juice, cranberry shrub, lime juice, and ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a lowball glass over fresh crushed ice.

4

Garnish with cranberries.

Poinsettia Cooler

Make It a Mocktail: Use Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Agave Reserva Spirit in place of the tequila to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

Anchor Hocking Manchester Rocks Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses, 10.5 oz (Set of 12) -
Anchor Hocking Manchester Rocks Old Fashioned Whiskey Glasses, 10.5 oz (Set of 12) –
Pack of 12 small clear glasses; made in the USA; Dishwasher Safe; 10.5- Fl ounce capacity
$24.99
Marquis by Waterford Crosby Double Old Fashion, set of 4
Marquis by Waterford Crosby Double Old Fashion, set of 4
Marquis by Waterford Crosby Collection; Made from Genuine Crystalline; 10 ounce Capacity; Perfect for Everyday Use and Entertaining
$58.29
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
$6.99

More Cranberry Cocktails

If you like this cranberry-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Bandon Bronco Cocktail Recipe

Bandon Bronco: A vodka cocktail made with cranberry syrup, cranberry juice, lime juice, ginger beer, a lime slice, and cranberries

Nucleus Mimosa Cocktail Recipe

Nucleus Mimosa: A sparkling wine cocktail made with orange juice, cranberry juice, and a lime slice

Poison Apple Cocktail Recipe

Poison Apple: A rye whiskey cocktail made with cinnamon syrup, cranberry juice, apple cider, lemon juice, and apple slices

Cranberry Cobbler Cocktail Recipe

Cranberry Cobbler: A sherry cocktail made with cranberry syrup, orange slices, a mint sprig, and cranberries

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