Use White Cranberry Juice In Your Next Cosmopolitan For A Flavorful Drink That Won't Stain

While it might seem shocking, those ruby red cosmopolitans that make you feel like you are channeling your inner Carrie Bradshaw from "Sex in the City" don't actually have to be made with red cranberry juice. A little white cranberry juice is perfect for what is known as a clear or white cosmopolitan. This simple swap will not only give your cocktail different layers of sweetness, but it comes without the fear of staining whatever you are wearing.

White cranberry juice is a fairly new creation, made from cranberries that have naturally turned from green to white as they develop. The cranberry's white phase is brief, lasting only about two weeks before it ripens into the more popular red form, but it contains all the nutrients of its fully ripe counterpart. The white variety of the juice first hit grocery store shelves in January 2002 and was quickly embraced by households with young children for its fewer mouth-puckering properties. 

Parents especially like this version of the fruit juice because when the kiddos spill it on the carpet, there's minimal risk of staining compared to standard red cranberry juice spills. As you might expect, white cranberry juice — and its subtle flavor differences — has also found its place in the ever-evolving world of adult beverages, specifically in recipes for the cranberry juice-based cosmopolitan. 

White cranberry juice is versatile, but not a substitute

White cranberry juice is still plenty fruity but has a milder flavor than its red counterpart. It's less tart and instead has a pleasant sweetness that pairs perfectly with the vodka base of a cosmopolitan. But that's not the only reason you may want to switch up your cranberry juice game. The white variety won't overwhelm your cosmopolitan and instead will allow the citrus notes of the orange Cointreau and lime juice to be the stars of this cocktail. Visually, the lighter-colored juice gives the drink a frosty appearance and offers a more sophisticated and whimsical presentation compared to red cranberry juice.

This pale version of the juice is especially popular during the winter months and may find its way into a Christmas punch, a spritzer, or even a margarita. White cranberry juice is more versatile than its red sister, but when using it in drink recipes, remember that it is not an outright substitution for the biting tang of red cranberry juice. It's best used as a supporting cast member where it can balance out the strong notes of more prominent flavors. 

To mix things up further, you can also experiment with different combinations of the two varieties. For example, try swirling the red and white cranberry juices together to make a "pastel pink" cosmopolitan. The light, delicate flavor of the white cranberry juice tempers the more intense, tart notes of the red, creating a smooth, balanced, and aesthetically pleasing cocktail.