Red cocktails are vibrant, beautiful, elegant, and noticeable, and there are plenty of perfect occasions for enjoying them.
There are many holidays during which it would make sense for you to celebrate with red cocktails.
Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and the Fourth of July are just a few special occasions.
And as is the case with all cocktails, you won’t even need a specific occasion to enjoy them.
Maybe you just want something bright and eye-catching, or perhaps you’re a huge fan of fruity drinks.
With a few exceptions, most red cocktails are incredibly fruity.
If you’re looking for something that tastes sweet and looks great, this list of 17 of the most popular red cocktails is the one for you.
Red Cocktails & Drink Recipes
Most people have heard of and probably even tried a vodka cranberry.
But I prefer the sweet and smoky flavor of a cranberry bourbon instead.
They both have the same gorgeous color and the same tart, bittersweet cranberry flavor.
But the smokiness of the bourbon makes all the difference.
Ingredients: bourbon, unsweetened cranberry juice, simple syrup, lemon slices, and cranberries
Anyone who grew up watching Sex and the City – and many people who didn’t – knows about the Cosmo.
In fact, this fruity red drink is probably one of the most popular cocktails of all time.
It’s also unimaginably simple to make.
All you’ll need is vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice cocktail, freshly squeezed lime juice, ice, and an orange peel twist for a garnish.
You can make it in 5 minutes or less with no trouble whatsoever.
Ingredients: vodka, Grand Marnier or Cointreau, cranberry juice cocktail, fresh lime juice, orange peel, ice
This icy cold, slushy strawberry margarita is perfect for summer.
It’s sweet, salty, and just a tiny bit tart, and it’s every bit as refreshing as it is strong.
Thanks to the double dose of liquor – tequila and triple sec – this lovely drink will have you singing show tunes after the second glass — maybe before!
Ingredients: tequila, triple sec, frozen strawberries, frozen limeade concentrate, sugar, kosher or sea salt
When it comes to red cocktails, it’s hard to beat cranberry drinks.
Strawberries are popular, too, and some people prefer cherries to both.
But cranberries have that perfect balance between tartness and bittersweetness.
Plus, they provide drinks with such a rich, robust red color. It’s hard not to appreciate them.
The cranberry mimosa combines cranberries with bubbly champagne and a sugar-rimmed glass.
It’s a flavor explosion that’ll have you coming back for more.
Ingredients: cranberry juice, sparkling wine, sparkling sugar, fresh cranberries, rosemary sprig
If strawberry margaritas aren’t your thing, then strawberry daiquiris probably are. It seems like everyone likes one or the other.
Personally, I love them both. They’re both icy, slushy, full of strawberry yumminess, and reasonably strong for a sweet drink.
Why choose between them!?
Ingredients: light rum, fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries, lime juice, lime garnish
If you like the buzz you get from gin but don’t love its initially bitter taste, the pomegranate gin cocktail is the drink for you.
All the sweetness from the pomegranate juice, orange juice, and honey almost completely eradicates any bitterness you might be expecting.
Plus, the sparkling water adds lovely bubbles, and the thyme and orange garnishes make the drink look absolutely stunning.
It’s ideal for the holiday season.
Ingredients: pomegranate juice, orange juice, honey, gin, sparkling water, fresh thyme and orange slices
7. Mulled Wine
If you’ve never had mulled wine, you’re in for a treat.
The rich red color is so dark that it almost looks black, but you’ll still see evidence of the red around the edges.
Additionally, it’ll make your whole house smell amazing while you’re cooking it, and its taste is just as impressive.
It’s lightly sweet but also spicy with notes of cloves, cinnamon, and star anise.
You can go as elaborate as you like on the garnishes; the more you have, the better the drink looks.
If you’re hoping to do something warm and spicy this Christmas, you’ll have to try mulled wine.
Ingredients: small oranges, red wine, brandy, maple syrup or honey, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, garnishes
The Bloody Mary is one of the few drinks on our list that isn’t sweet, and on an unrelated note, it’s also one of my all-time favorite cocktails.
It has such a phenomenal, complex taste.
I’ve heard people describe it by saying it “tastes like V8.” Those people are wrong.
There is so much more to this drink than V8 could ever match. Just look at that ingredients list!
Seriously, if you’re looking for an earthy, spicy cocktail that doesn’t send you on a sugar high after drinking it, you’ll have to try this recipe for a Bloody Mary.
Ingredients: tomato juice, vodka, cucumber, distilled vinegar, celery seed, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, freshly-ground black pepper, garlic, salt, lemon or lime wedges, ice, garnishes
You can whip up this refreshing, tartly sweet drink in only 5 minutes with just a few essential ingredients: Prosecco, orange juice, honey, and strawberries.
The orange juice and strawberries pair well together.
And the honey adds a light sweetness for those who don’t like their drinks tart enough to wrinkle their noses.
Ingredients: Prosecco, orange juice, honey, whole strawberries, orange slices
The Caesar is the more masculine counterpart to the Bloody Mary, and they share many similarities in taste, texture, and ingredients.
The main difference between the two is that a Caesar includes Clamato juice.
The drink is still spicy and full of tomatoey goodness, but there’s also a distinct umami kick that sets it apart from the traditional Bloody Mary.
Ingredients: vodka, Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, horseradish, celery, pickled asparagus, celery salt, ice cubes
11. Red Sangria
If you love fruit – and I mean fruit, not fruit flavor – then sangria is the drink for you.
It has a sweet, dry flavor that somehow manages to remain smooth and robust, as well.
The best part about it, though, is the large chunks of real fruit in each glass.
They soak up the alcohol, becoming very potent and making this a boozy snack as well as a boozy drink.
Ingredients: apple, orange, brown sugar, orange juice, brandy, dry Spanish red wine, Ice
This drink is for anyone who likes their cocktails sugary but not overwhelmingly so.
Raspberries, while sweet, have a natural tanginess that lends itself well to drinks.
The lime juice and vodka further tone down the sweetness, and once you add in your favorite herbs, there’s barely any sugary sweetness left.
Plus, the herbs leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean after drinking it, and that’s always a great thing.
Ingredients: raspberries, fresh herb leaves, granulated sugar, lime juice, soda water, vodka, ice
This elegant drink is as lovely as it is tasty, and trust me, it’s incredibly appealing.
I love its unique tanginess and almost floral-like taste and aroma. It’s definitely one of a kind!
Ingredients: gin, pomegranate juice, sweet vermouth, simple syrup, Angostura bitters, club soda, pomegranate arils
This three-ingredient drink is more pink than red.
But if you want to go all out, you’ll add gorgeous, heart-shaped strawberry garnishes to each glass, and those are red.
All you’ll need to make it is vodka, peach schnapps, and ruby red grapefruit juice.
It has a fun, bittersweet (heavy on the sweet) flavor, and that taste, along with the sugary rim, really will make you think you’re under a spell.
Ingredients: vodka, peach schnapps or peach liqueur, ruby red grapefruit juice
15. Raspberry Mimosa
Raspberry mimosas are insanely easy to make, taking only 5 minutes and requiring five ingredients (fewer if you’re making a mocktail instead).
They taste fantastic, but if flavor takes a backseat to finding a red drink to fit your theme, then you’ll go nuts for this drink.
It’s just about as vibrantly red as it’s possible for a drink to get.
Ingredients: clear corn syrup or honey, coarse sugar or sprinkles, pomegranate juice, raspberry liqueur, sparkling wine or ginger ale
This simple 3-minute cocktail is slightly sweet, smoky, and a bit spicy from the cinnamon schnapps.
To make it, you’ll start with a base of black cherry bourbon.
Then, you’ll add coconut rum, amaretto liqueur, pineapple juice, cherry puree, and cinnamon schnapps.
The drink itself isn’t super sweet, but you’ll add crushed graham crackers around the rim, which helps tone down some of the boldness of the alcohol.
It doesn’t taste precisely like a cherry cobbler, but it’ll undoubtedly remind you of that comforting treat.
Ingredients: finely-crushed graham crackers, black cherry bourbon whiskey, coconut rum, amaretto liqueur, pineapple juice, cherry puree, cinnamon schnapps
Cranberry martinis are simply gorgeous; there’s no other way to put it.
They’re stunning and elegant and look like they take a lot of time and effort to make. (They don’t!)
Thanks to the cranberries, cranberry juice, mint leaves, and elderflower liqueur, they’re also the ideal drink for Christmas.
Luckily, they taste so good; you won’t mind enjoying them all holiday season.
Ingredients: vodka, elderflower liqueur, cranberry juice, simple syrup, cranberries, mint leaves
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