Who says Halloween is just for kids? Combining sweet and tart cranberries, orange juice, and dramatic black vodka, this fun and fizzy cocktail is the perfect potion for your grown-up celebration.

Prep time
15 minutes
1 hour chilling time

Cook time
approximately 15 minutes

4 servings

Witches Brew hero web 2

Ingredients & Equipment

For the cranberry simple syrup:

1½ cups (326 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed

1 cup (250 ml) water

8 pcs (16 g) orange zest, wide strips (peeled with a vegetable peeler)

2 inches (12 g) fresh ginger, peeled and thickly sliced

1½ cup (165 g) cranberries, fresh

For the cocktail:

¾ cup (188 ml) cranberry simple syrup, divided (recipe above)

1½ cups (375 ml) pure cranberry juice, unsweetened, divided

¾ cup (188 ml) orange juice, preferably freshly squeezed, divided

¾ to 1 cup (188 to 250 ml) black vodka, divided (see Chef’s Tips)

1 cup (250 ml) club soda (or ginger beer), divided

Garnishes (optional):

Fresh cranberries

Orange slices or zest

Cinnamon sticks


Scale or dry measuring cup

Liquid measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Vegetable peeler

Medium heavy-bottomed saucepan

Heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon

Slotted spoon

Medium fine mesh sieve

Medium bowl or large liquid measuring cup

Double old-fashioned glasses OR highball glasses x 4 (or any glass that can hold between 10 to 16 oz)


Stir sticks OR paper straws x 4


For the cranberry simple syrup:

Step 1
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, water, orange zest, and sliced ginger. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Step 2
Carefully add the cranberries, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the cranberries pop and soften; about 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Step 3
Remove from heat and allow syrup to infuse and cool slightly; 10 minutes.

Step 4
Carefully strain the cranberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl or large measuring cup. With a spatula or wooden spoon, gently move the berries, allowing as much of the liquid to strain through, though being careful not to press too hard onto the solids as this will create a cloudy-looking syrup. Reserve spent cranberries. (See Chef’s Tips for uses.) Discard orange zest and sliced ginger.

Step 5
Allow the cranberry simple syrup to cool at room temperature, cover, and place in the fridge to chill completely; approximately 1 hour.

For the cocktail:

Step 1
Add 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of the cranberry simple syrup to each glass. Fill glasses halfway with ice.

Step 2
Slowly pour the ¼ cup (63 ml) and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the unsweetened cranberry juice over the ice into each glass. Carefully pour orange juice (3 tablespoons / 45 ml) over the cranberry juice. Pouring over the back of a spoon, add approximately 3 tablespoons to 4 tablespoons (45 ml to 60 ml) of black vodka into each glass, being careful not to disturb the layers. Top each glass with approximately ¼ cup (63 ml) of club soda (or ginger beer).

Step 3
Remove from heat and allow syrup to infuse and cool slightly; 10 minutes.

Chef's Tips

*Leftover cranberry solids can be stirred into yogurt, oatmeal, or used as a topping on toast, cake slices, or ice cream.

*Any leftover cranberry simple syrup can be used to make additional drinks, mixed into sparkling water, tea, or used as a moistening syrup for cake layers.

*To quickly chill liquids (e.g. simple syrups), transfer into a metal bowl. Fill a larger bowl with ice with a small amount of water. Set the bowl with the hot liquid that needs to be cooled over the ice, constantly stirring until chilled. Cover or transfer into an airtight container and place into the fridge until needed.

*Frozen cranberries can be used in place of fresh when making the simple syrup.

*The cranberry simple syrup can be made a few days in advance for ease of preparation.

*The amount of vodka used in each drink depends on each individual’s taste preference; our recipe uses 1½ oz or 2 oz of alcohol per cocktail.

*Regular vodka can be substituted for black vodka, though the look will not be as dramatic.

*For a non-alcoholic version, replace vodka with unsweetened pure concord grape juice. Pure concord grape juice can usually be found in the organic aisle of any major grocery store.

Radpath Products

Crafting sugar since 1854

Our Products