This spooky spin on a classic Vodka Cranberry cocktail is perfect for Halloween entertaining! A black-colored vodka float hovers eerily over blood red cranberry in a tall glass with dripping ‘blood’ running down the glass. It’s perfect for your holiday party!
Vodka Cranberry is one of the easiest cocktail recipe to make. This sweet-and-tart flavor festive drink is made with two simple ingredients with some ice cubes! There’s no question why it’s a favorite any time of the year.
Our Cranberry Vodka Punch recipe has been a very popular recipe for years. It’s the perfect cocktail for the holiday season. But this Vampire Vodka Cranberry recipe starts the holiday season with Halloween. This cranberry cocktail recipe is a refreshing cocktail (and a simple cocktail) with a presentation that’s undeniably sinister and fantastic!
With a couple easy tricks you’ll have a fun cocktail that’s layered for dramatic effect complete with a delicious textured bloody rim. Halloween happy hour has never been so fun!
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Freeze dried raspberries. These make up the spook rim of the cranberry vodka cocktail. You can find them in most stores where the dehydrated fruits are located, or online.
Agave nectar. This sweetened helps keep the ‘blood’ on the glass rim.
Vodka. Use an unflavored vodka. We add a drop of black food coloring to color the vodka. You can also use a black vodka like Blavod and then no coloring is needed.
Black food coloring. See note above. We used Americolor Super Black Gel Food Coloring.
Cranberry juice. Use a 100% cranberry juice which has been sweetened with other fruit juices instead of sugar (we used Ocean Spray). Unsweetened cranberry juice has a very tart cranberry flavor that overwhelms the cocktail. Cranberry juice cocktail has been sweetened with sugar and often high fructose corn syrup which is sweeter than desired for this classic cocktail.
How to make this spooky Vodka Cranberry Cocktail
STEP 1. Make the ‘blood’ for the rim of the glass
Pulse the freeze dried raspberries in a food processor or spice grinder until they form a fine powder.
Place the powder in a small bowl and add the agave. Stir until a thick paste forms. Set aside until ready to use.
STEP 2. Make the vodka cranberry cocktail
Add the vodka and black food coloring to a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Shake to combine (photos 1-2).
Fill two highball glasses or tall glasses halfway with ice. Add ½ cup cranberry juice to each glass (photo 3). Very carefully pour 2 ounces of vodka over the cranberry juice (photo 4).
TIP: Hold a dining spoon at an angle over the cranberry juice in the glass. Pour the vodka slowly onto the back of the spoon so it spreads out more evenly over the cranberry juice to create layering and doesn’t disturb the colors (see an example here of this pousse cafe cocktail).
Spoon the “blood” around the edge of the rim (photo 4) and enjoy.
STEP 3. Dry ice option
Adding a very small piece of dry ice will cause the drink to create a spooky fog. Do not consume a drink with dry ice in it as it can cause burning. It will also disturb the layering of the cocktail. More on dry ice below.
Chill ingredients before starting. Chilling the ingredients before starting will make the ice last longer or give the option to not use ice for a more noticeable layering effect.
Using Dry Ice
Working with dry ice is a lot of fun but should be done carefully! If using dry ice for Halloween festivities please read our Dry Ice Guide for details on where to buy, how to handle and store and how to use safely. Some highlights:
- Never touch dry ice with your bare hands
- Always use temperature proof gloves and silicone utensils.
- Never ingest dry ice.
- Allow cocktails to stop smoking before consuming.
- Never store dry ice in a sealed container.
- Keep away from children and pets.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can although they will be a pinker color versus the bright red the freeze dried raspberries produce.
Skip the rim and coloring the vodka black. You can stir the ingredients together and add a splash of lime, orange slice for garnish. You can even change it up with a splash of ginger ale or club soda for some fizz. A bit of orange juice, grapefruit juice or pineapple juice gives it a whole new fresh flavor too.
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Vampire Vodka Cranberry cocktail
For the “Bloody” Rim
- 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
For the Cocktail
- 4 ounces unflavored vodka chilled
- 1 drop black food coloring
- 1 cup (8 ounces) 100% cranberry juice chilled
To Make the “Bloody” Rim
- Pulse the freeze dried raspberries in a food processor or spice grinder until they form a fine powder.
- Place the powder in a small bowl and add the agave. Stir until a thick paste forms. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Cocktail
- Add the vodka and black food coloring to a jar with a tightly fitting lid. Shake to combine.
- Fill two highball glasses halfway with ice. Add ½ cup cranberry juice to each glass.
- To create a layering effect: Place a dining spoon upside down at an angle just above the cranberry juice in the glass. Gently pour the black vodka over the back of the spoon so it floats on the cranberry juice without mixing.
- Spoon the “blood” around the edge of the glass rims and enjoy.
- (Optional) Carefully place a very small pellet of dry ice into the drink. It will smoke a lot for the first few minutes and will stop after about 5 minutes. Remove the dry ice before consuming the drink. NOTE: the dry ice will cause the drink layers to blend together for a black cocktail.