Red Snapper Holiday Shot Recipe

'Tis the season, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a round of shots? The red snapper shot (not to be confused with the savory, tomato-based red snapper cocktail) is a festive and easy shooter that tastes just like Christmas. Red snappers are made up of Canadian whisky — usually Crown Royal – amaretto, and cranberry juice. They taste dangerously sweet, slightly nutty, and very little like alcohol at all. Better yet, the drink is red-hued, making it the perfectly cheery drink for the winter season. In this recipe from developer Michelle McGlinn, the red snapper is outfitted with sugared cranberry and a sprig of rosemary for an extra-sweet, slightly herbal, and mostly just cute holiday shot. With or without the sugared accouterments, this fast sipper is sure to be a hit at your holiday party. Just be careful, as these deliciously sweet shots are stronger than they seem.

Gather the ingredients for a red snapper holiday shot

The ingredient list is as simple as it gets here: You'll just need Crown Royal whisky, amaretto, and cranberry juice. To garnish this shot, you'll need cranberries, rosemary, simple syrup, and sugar.

Step 1: Toss the garnishes in syrup

Toss the cranberries and rosemary with the simple syrup in a small bowl.

Step 2: Spread the sticky berries on a tray

Spread on a sheet tray, shaking any excess syrup off so that cranberries and rosemary are tacky but not wet.

Step 3: Cover in sugar

Gently toss with the sugar and let dry.

Step 4: Pour the spirits into a shaker

Pour the whisky, amaretto, and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

Step 5: Shake

Shake until chilled, about 15 seconds.

Step 6: Strain

Strain into a shot glass.

Step 7: Garnish and serve

Drop the sugared cranberries into the shot and garnish with the sugared rosemary sprig to serve.

Can a red snapper shot be made into a cocktail?

If you try to research a red snapper cocktail, you'll get results for a very different drink. The cocktail that goes by the same name is a riff on a Bloody Mary and is a tomato-based drink that uses gin instead of traditional vodka. To make this shooter into a cocktail, you'll need to adjust the listed recipe. To do this, fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add 1 ½ ounces of whisky, 1 ½ ounces amaretto, and 3 ounces cranberry juice. Shake until chilled and frothy — about 20 seconds — then strain over ice into a tall glass. Garnish with the sugared berries and rosemary sprig, and serve. If this version is a little strong for your tastes, adjust the cranberry juice to taste or add a splash of lemon-lime soda for a bit of fizz. Remember, this isn't the same drink as a red snapper cocktail, so when your friends and family ask for a recipe (inevitably after taking a few delicious sips), remind them to search for a red snapper shot.

Do you have to use Crown Royal whisky in a red snapper shot?

The short answer to this question is no — the shot can be made with any whisky or bourbon. But, with how widely the world of whisky (and whiskey) can vary, it would be much easier to pick up a bottle of Crown Royal and be sure that the recipe is made correctly. Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky and is used in this shot because of the smooth taste and flavor notes of vanilla and caramel, which pair well with nutty amaretto. Before you ask, the other two ingredients are best kept the same, too, though there's no need to choose a specific brand. Amaretto is an almond-flavored Italian liqueur and will usually be labeled as amaretto. The cranberry juice is self-explanatory; any cranberry-based juice will work, even if mixed with other fruits. If you're in a bind and can't make the drink with Crown Royal specifically, use any smooth, mild-flavored whisky or bourbon. Some good choices for substituting include Benchmark, Woodford Reserve, and Lot 40, which are similarly mild-flavored and budget-friendly.

Red Snapper Holiday Shot Recipe
5 from 32 ratings
This red snapper holiday shot -- different from the full cocktail of the same name -- is a sweet, festive, and visually appealing sip that packs a boozy punch.
Prep Time
3
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
1
Shot
red snapper shot on white table, plant in background
Total time: 3 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 fresh cranberries
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ ounce Crown Royal whisky
  • ½ ounce amaretto
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
Directions
  1. Toss the cranberries and rosemary with the simple syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Spread on a sheet tray, shaking any excess syrup off so that cranberries and rosemary are tacky but not wet.
  3. Gently toss with the sugar and let dry.
  4. Pour the whisky, amaretto, and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  5. Shake until chilled, about 15 seconds.
  6. Strain into a shot glass.
  7. Drop the sugared cranberries into the shot and garnish with the sugared rosemary sprig to serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 278
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 56.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 54.0 g
Sodium 20.0 mg
Protein 0.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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