Arguably the most famous mocktail in the world gets a celebratory glow-up with cranberry simple syrup and the pleasant “bite” of ginger beer. Flavourful, fun, and fizzy, it’s a festive choice for the younger crowd, the DD, or anyone who opts for holiday spirit without the spirits.

Prep time
10 minutes

Cook time
20 minutes

2 servings / 1¼ cups (313 ml) simple syrup

Shirley Temple portrait

Ingredients & equipment

For the cranberry simple syrup:

1½ cup (165 g) fresh cranberries (see Chef’s Tips)

1 cup (217 g) Redpath Simply Raw™ Turbinado Sugar

¾ cup (188 ml) water

For the spirit-free cocktail:

6 tbsp (90 ml) lime juice, preferably freshly squeezed

1½ cup (375 ml) ginger beer (see Chef’s Tips)

4 tbsp (60 ml) cranberry simple syrup, chilled

Garnishes (optional):

Fresh cranberries

Lime slices


Scale OR dry measuring cups

Large liquid measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Small heavy-bottomed saucepan

Heatproof spatula OR wooden spoon

Fine mesh sieve

Tall glasses (e.g. Collins or highball glasses) x 2


For the cranberry simple syrup:

Step 1
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine cranberries, the Redpath Simply Raw™ Turbinado Sugar, and water. Place on medium heat and bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cranberries have burst and softened; 20 minutes.

Step 2
Strain the cranberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup. Gently press down on the fruit to extract as much liquid as possible (see Chef’s Tips). Cool to room temperature and place into the fridge to chill completely (see Chef’s Tips). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (see Chef’s Tips).

For the cranberry simple syrup:

Step 1
Fill 2 tall glasses with ice. Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of lime juice into each glass. Pour ¾ cup (188 ml) of ginger beer into each glass. Slowly drizzle 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the prepared cranberry simple syrup into each glass.

Step 2
Garnish with fresh cranberries and lime, if desired.

Step 3
Serve. Stir before drinking.

Chef's Tips

*If fresh cranberries are not available, frozen cranberries can be substituted.

*For those who may not enjoy the spicy kick that ginger beer offers or those who can’t have fermented drinks, use ginger ale or lemon-lime soda instead of the ginger beer.

*If the simple syrup becomes cloudy, or develops an off-taste or smell, discard the syrup. To ensure that the simple syrup stays mould-free, ensure that the container used is sterilized and any utensil going into the syrup is free from water or other contaminants.

*Do not discard the cranberries after straining. Add to drink, if desired, use as a spread, or use as a topping (e.g. ice cream, yogurt, pancakes, or waffles).

*To save time, the cranberry simple syrup can be made several days in advance. Alternatively, to quickly chill the simple syrup, transfer it into a metal bowl. Fill a larger bowl with ice and a small amount of water. Set the bowl with the hot liquid over the ice, stirring constantly until cooled. Cover or transfer into an airtight container and place into the fridge until needed. Note that the cranberry simple syrup will set slightly due to the pectin found in cranberries, so stir well before using.

*Any leftover cranberry simple syrup can be used to make more spirit-free cocktails, add to sparkling water, tea, coffee, smoothies, or moisten cake layers.

*Orange juice, grapefruit juice, or pineapple juice can be substituted for lime juice.

*Add a splash of vodka, gin, rum, or prosecco for a “Cranberry Dirty Shirley”.

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