A refreshing, festive cranberry cocktail for all your winter celebrations, a Blushin' Russian is a beautiful twist on a traditional Italian soda.
What is a Blushin' Russian?
A Blushin' Russian is a beautiful twist on a traditional Italian soda. This stunning holiday cocktail is easy to fix and makes a dreamy, creamy, festive addition to any winter celebration. Our own unique concoction, the Blushin' Russian was created expressly with our spiced simple syrup in mind, but you can make it with plain simple syrup as well.
Mocktail Version: Because each cocktail is created individually, it is easy to mix it as a mocktail, so everyone can enjoy one. Simply omit the vodka for a refreshing, kid-friendly version!
What Goes into this Recipe
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
★ Cranberry ginger ale: Canada Dry and Schwepps both make a cranberry ginger ale. It can sometimes be difficult to find in August, but it is almost always stocked during the holiday season.
If you can't find cranberry ginger ale, you can use 6 ounces of regular ginger ale and 1 ounce of cranberry juice. (This ginger ale + cranberry juice solution is actually what we do most often.)
★ Half-and-half: You can use heavy cream, but we prefer to use half-and-half for a lighter drink.
★ Spiced simple syrup: This ginger-forward homemade simple syrup is so versatile and delicious! You can use plain simple syrup, but the cocktail won't be as gingery.
You can also use a plain simple syrup, paired with a high-quality, strongly flavor ginger ale in place of the cranberry ginger ale. (We like Reed's Extra-Ginger Beer) In this case, add 1-2 tablespoons of cranberry juice to the mix.
How to Mix a Blushin' Russian
Spiced Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan, heat ½-cup sugar, ½-cup water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, sliced ginger, and whole cloves over medium until it comes to a boil.
Reduce heat to low-low and barely simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until it begins to boil.
Remove syrup from heat, and use a small wire sieve to remove solids.
Fill a tall glass tumbler with ice. Pour cranberry ginger ale, vodka, and simple syrup into the glass and stir gently to mix.
Slowly pour in half-and-half, allowing it to flow gently into the glass.
Garnish with mint leaves and Spiced Sugared Cranberries and serve immediately.
For a non-alcoholic, kid-friendly mocktail, simply omit to vodka.
FAQs & Expert Tips
Easy Cranberry Cocktail Garnish
More Cranberry Recipes
Blushin' Russian (Cranberry Cocktail & Mocktail)
- 1 tall glass
Spiced Simple Syrup
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 4-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 inch fresh ginger thinly sliced
- 4 whole allspice
- 4 whole cloves
- 6 ounces cranberry ginger ale available seasonally
- 1½ ounces spiced simple syrup
- 1½ ounces vodka Omit for Mocktail
- 1½ ounces half-and-half or heavy cream
Spiced Simple Syrup
- In a small saucepan, heat ½-cup sugar, ½-cup water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, sliced ginger, and whole cloves over medium until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low-low and barely simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until it begins to boil.
- Remove syrup from heat, and use a small wire sieve to remove solids.
- Fill a tall glass tumbler with ice. Pour cranberry ginger ale, vodka, and simple syrup into glass. Stir gently to mix. Omit vodka for non-alcoholic, kid-friendly mocktail.
- Slowly pour in half-and-half.
- Garnish with fresh mint leaves and Spiced Sugared Cranberries. Serve immediately.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.