SIPPING AND STREAMING: The Saint Elder Cranberry Cocktail Makes for A Wonderful Life

By Veronica and Dan O’Brien  / @vedafy1 /  Published December 24, 2020


When the holiday season arrives, it’s time for family, good friends, good cheer, great drinks, fantastic feasts, and iconic Christmas movies.

Let’s start with our Drink of the Day.

This is the drink we will enjoy on Christmas Day of 2020, at home along with our family on Zoom.


The Saint Elder Cranberry Cocktail. 

Light, refreshing, and delicious, it’s the perfect holiday drink when entertaining your friends and family. I’m calling this the Saint Elder drink instead of the more popular (and expensive) Saint Germaine version as our version here can save you money. See below for the details, and, enjoy!

The Vodka

One does not simply walk into Mordor. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire and ash and dust, the very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Of course one does not pick just any vodka when creating a concoction of this type, an adult libation you hope will one day help your legions storm the highest castle.

Favorites such as Tito‘s and Grey Goose are absolutely fine choices. 

Regardless, here’s a detailed list of the top vodka choices for 2020.

Saint Elder Cranberry cocktail glass with scene from Its a Wonderful Life



Lime Juice

Sugar for rimming glass

2 oz. vodka

1 oz. Saint Elder

2 oz. Cranberry Juice

Cranberries for garnish


Zest 1/2 of the lime into a small bowl and combine with rimming sugar, rubbing the sugar and zest together with your fingers until fragrant.

Sprinkle onto a small plate. Cut lime into wedges, use one to wet the edge of the serving glass.

Gently tap the edge of the glass into the sugar.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add vodka, your Saint Elder, cranberry juice, and 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice.

Shake vigorously to combine and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve. Become the hero of millions.


Here’s a little secret, and a worthwhile cost savings tip.

Look for Saint Elder Elderflower Liqueur at $15 to $20 per bottle. It’s a knock-off copy of the Saint Germaine and is perfectly fine in a wonderfully refreshing drink like this.

In fact it is perfectly splendid.

Saint Germaine is made in France, so your paying a premium of $30 or more for a bottle when you can easily pay half the price for a USA made product like the one we’re recommending here.


“The finish is sharp and vaguely floral, with those tropical notes coming on strong again. It’s quite similar to St. Germain in the end, the most notable difference being the addition of 5% more alcohol to St. Elder, which makes this expression slightly punchier Good thing or bad thing? It doesn’t seem to matter much: St. Elder may not be as refined on the outside, but what’s in the bottle is a big winner.”

As for the iconic Christmas movie….

Pair the Saint Elder Cranberry Cocktail with:

It’s a Wonderful Life.

There is an abundance of Christmas favorites available to keep you occupied during the holiday season, but there’s only one truly magnificent film worthy of pairing with this refreshingly satisfying blend of vodka, cranberries, and lime.

It’s the 1946 Frank Capra ageless classic “It’s a Wonderful Life“, the story of Bedford Falls’ George Bailey, starring Jimmy Stewart in his first movie since returning from his wartime experiences as a colonel in the US Air Force; he was almost certainly suffering from what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. 

His co-star is twenty-five year old Donna Reed, as Mary Hatch, the childhood admirer of George Bailey, though George showed no signs of even acknowledging her all of those years growing up in Bedford Falls.

Eventually, the two spend a few hours together on the night when George promises to her that he would “Throw a lasso” around the moon, “and pull it down for you. Then you can swallow it, and it’ll all dissolve, and the moonbeams would shoot out of your fingers and your toes and the ends of your hair…”

Released to theaters in December of 1946, this was generally well received by critics, but would not earn it’s money back in the movie theaters. Maybe the audiences at the time, still recovering from the horrors of World War II, were not quite ready for the level of sentimentality presented in the film. 

Perhaps it was the darkness of the movie itself. Make no mistake: despite the joyous euphoria of the final scene, this is a DARK movie. Themes of destitution, class warfare, and suicide run throughout the film, and, as George puts it at his darkest hour in the final act: “bankruptcy, and scandal and prison“, he barks at Uncle Billy for losing $8000 dollars of their Building and Loan’s funds.

George Bailey from Its a Wonderful Life
George Bailey: Still fighting the never-ending fight against Mr. Potter today

It’s a Wonderful Life” would become America’s annual Christmas right of passage only after the movie’s copyright ran out in 1974 and was not re-newed. It suddenly became part of the public domain, where it could be broadcast by any television station on Earth, to an audience that had largely forgotten this story of 1930’s and 40’s Americana.

“But George…..they’ll vote with Potter otherwise.”

George never did “chase the dust off this crummy old street“. Instead, he discovered he really did live a wonderful life despite all of the hardships thrown at him. 

It was in my early teens, sometime during the late 70s, when this writer fell in love with George, Mary, Uncle Billy, Clarence Oddbody, Ernie, Bert, Violet, Mr. Gower, and the entire wonderful cast of characters living in Bedford Fall, USA. It was at that initial viewing where I wept uncontrollably by the time ZuZu’s petals returned and Clarence got his wings. The same thing happens today, regardless of how many times I have re-watched this story.

As we head into a new year, there’s no better time to spend a few hours with George and his friends, while enjoying our holiday drink of the day.

Cheers and happy holidays to all.

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