Witches’ Brew Cocktail

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
Black vodka and cranberry cocktail on a spooky background with swirling smoke

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

4 servings
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
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

Garnish each glass with fresh cranberries and/or orange slices or zest and a “broomstick” (cinnamon stick, stir stick, or straw). Stir before enjoying.


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