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cranberry orange coolers

Having a kiddo with a birthday so close to Halloween, I have wondered what is the best protocol for Halloween theme/Birthday theme mash-ups. Do we play up the Halloween theme for everything it’s worth and pack her party full of spooky shananigans? Or do we go in the completely opposite direction and shun the ghosts and jack-o-lanterns – keeping them in their rightful place: next week.

The problem is that I love Halloween. Love it, love it. So relegating it to a one week celebration is often not enough for me. I need my creepy fix.

To compromise at the Baby’s party and make me everyone happy I usually try to nod toward Halloween by having some treats that on the outside say ‘Perky Princess’ but on the inside scream ‘Halloween Horror’.

Take this cranberry orange cooler for instance. It has many faces. It can be a pretty pink punch for a birthday party or a bloody red drink for a haunted house party.

It even has different sides for kiddies {with lemon lime soda} and grown ups {with vodka} At the Baby’s party, we served strictly the kiddie version as I am not sure on the rules of serving boozy punch at a 3 year old’s party, and frankly, didn’t want to find out the hard way. But at a Halloween party, where there is no specific tiny guest of honor, I find that the vodka version is completely acceptable. And welcomed.

Make them both for your Halloween party this week, you won’t be sorry. Just don’t mix up the two versions. Things could get crazy.

For more cranberry goodness, try Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Cookies and Cranberry Relish!

Cranberry Orange Cooler Recipe

Yield: 2 cups of simple syrup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


For Cranberry Orange Simple Syrup
2 ¼ cups fresh cranberries (or frozen)
Rind/peel of 1 orange
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ cups water
For 'Grown Up' Cocktail
3 Tablespoons of Cranberry Orange simply syrup
2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed orange juice
1 ½ oz vodka
Seltzer to taste
Twist of lime
For 1 ‘Kiddie’ Cooler
¼ cup of cranberry orange simple syrup
4 oz of lemon lime soda


For simple syrup

In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, orange peel, sugar, and water to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cranberries are tender - about 10 minutes. Let the syrup cool, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the orange peel, but save the cranberries and serve them over ice cream or yogurt. Store syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

For ‘Grown Up’ Coolers

Fill a glass with ice and pour in cranberry orange simple syrup. Top with orange juice, vodka and seltzer to taste. Garnish with a twist of lime.

For ‘Kiddie’ Coolers'

Fill a glass with ice and pour in cranberry orange simple syrup and top with lemon lime soda.

Recipe adapted from Everyday Food
October 26th, 2012

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13 comments on “cranberry orange coolers”

  1. Wow… it looks amazing! I bet it tastes as good as it looks!

  2. I’m assuming you meant 2 1/4 cups cranberries? Looks delicious!

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  8. Hi,

    where do you buy the cranberry mocktail glasses from?

    they are amazing

    • Those are some of my favorite glasses! I actually got them from Crate and Barrel when I got married, but it was about 9 years ago. I’m not sure they still have them, but it’s worth looking! I believe they were called ‘pick up sticks’ or something like that. The small ones with the horizontal rings were from Crate and Barrel, and I know they still carry those. They are the ‘ring’ juice glasses. I hope this helps! Thank you for stopping by!

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