Pickled Cocktail Cranberries

Swap out your martini olive for the tangy crunch of pickled winter fruit.

  • Serves

    2 cups

  • Cook

    1 day 12 hours 10 minutes

Kat Craddock

By Kat Craddock

Updated on December 22, 2022

We love the brininess of olives or pickled pearl onions in our martinis and Gibsons, but pickled cranberries deliver the same salty kick plus a puckery tartness, satisfying crunch, and pretty crimson hue to holiday cocktails. Though fresh cranberries take several days to tenderize and absorb flavor, defrosted frozen ones have slightly softer skins, which speeds up the pickling process. Get a batch started at least two days before you plan to serve. Cinnamon leaves can be ordered online from Burlap & Barrel.


  • 1 23 cups frozen cranberries
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 whole cinnamon tree leaf or sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 12 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt


Step 1

In a 16-ounce resealable jar, pack the frozen cranberries, star anise, and cinnamon tree leaf or rosemary and set aside.

Step 2

In a small pot, combine the cider vinegar, 1⁄2 cup water, sugar and kosher salt. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. When the mixture is hot, pour over the berries, then cover and seal. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate for another 12-24 hours. Use immediately or store up to 4 weeks.

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