The Red Rooster: Frozen Vodka Cocktail Recipe

This easy make-ahead frozen vodka cocktail recipe has become something of a family Christmas tradition for us. The Red Rooster cocktail is just so easy and delicious.


The Red Rooster is basically that punch from college that tasted so good you got way drunk way fast. Except it’s frozen like a slushie, which is somehow both more and less sophisticated than the original.


At the risk of telling it like it is, Emeril Lagasse’s TV persona is an introvert’s worst nightmare. So even though he is obviously extremely talented and I’m sure very nice, I’ve never really paid all that much attention to what he’s up to. BAM! (I’m over here, hiding under the bed.)

Drinking a cocktail under the bed isn’t totally out of the question, but it’s not my first choice, either. Given all that, an Emeril cocktail is not exactly the most obvious choice to have become one our family’s sometime Christmas traditions. And yet. It has. 

The Red Rooster is not a sophisticated cocktail.

The Red Rooster is not a sophisticated cocktail. It’s basically that punch from college that tasted so good you got way drunker way faster than you expected.

But it’s frozen like a slushie, which is totally brilliant and somehow both slightly more and quite a bit less sophisticated than the original punch.

You’re a grownup now, so you’ll use a good-quality vodka and not consume the Red Rooster by the quart. In fact, this drink works equally well as a normal-sized cocktail for 8 or served in much smaller glasses as a festive little opener to the evening (like you might serve Champagne), followed by wine and beer.

Red Rooster Cocktail 780 | Umami Girl-2

Either way, it's delicious.

I know I’m supposed to be on top of things like this, but as you can tell from the photos, what we have here at the moment is kind of a Pink Rooster. It normally turns out a more vibrant red, which is great for Christmas. I had a hard time finding good old cranberry juice cocktail at Whole Foods, so I diluted a frozen concentrate, and that may be the culprit. Either way, it’s delicious.

Red Rooster shots for Voldemort

Not to tell you what to do or anything, but it being Friday, maybe make a test batch tonight and see whether it will work for your holiday. Or, to be honest, this thing is so flexible you could make it now, taste some, AND keep the rest for Christmas. Or keep it in the freezer and pound a couple of shots every time Voldemort announces a new member of his administration. Just a thought.

Red Rooster Vodka Cocktail Recipe

This recipe somehow became a bit of a holiday tradition in our family many years ago. We don't make it every year, but I'm resurrecting it this year because I think of it often, it's easy as hell, and it's delicious.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Serves Serves 12


  • 6 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, defrosted
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups vodka


  1. Pour all ingredients into a 9x13-inch glass baking dishand stir.
  2. Cover well and freeze overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, use a fork to scrape into a slushie-like consistency. This will be easy since vodka doesn't completely freeze.
  4. Scoop into glasses and serve. It's great frozen but also as it melts.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 166