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Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

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  • 1 pound (about 4 cups) cranberries

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup bourbon

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine first 3 ingredients in 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake until cranberries are tender and sugar is dissolved, stirring once, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and stir in bourbon. Refrigerate cranberry sauce until well chilled. DO AHEAD: Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Reviews Section

Bourbon Ginger Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Bourbon Ginger Cranberry Sauce is cranberry sauce with a kick. A definite winner!

I love fresh cranberries and every single year I try to come up with new dishes to show off their beauty. Some of my favorites are cranberry rosemary focaccia and my cranberry orange Dutch baby. However, growing up cranberries had little to do with my culinary life. They were just something that was available in can form and were just opened, jiggled out of the can and put on a plate.

My step-mom would slice it up and there it would sit. No one touched it and people would laugh at how every year we open the can and no one eats it. To me, cranberry sauce was just the laughing stock of the Thanksgiving table.

Poor cranberries. They were never asked to be congealed and just thrown into a bowl or sliced in can-shaped rings. The cranberries should be celebrated and gobbled down with delight.

That’s why this year I vow to not let the cranberry sauce go to waste. I’m going to show my family that fresh cranberries and just a few simple ingredients can make the most delicious cranberry sauce they ever had.

This version is slightly sweet but not so sweet you’ll be in a sugar coma afterwards. It’s great on top of turkey and even better when paired with vanilla cheesecake.

There are about a million ways to make cranberry sauce, but this recipe just uses brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest and grated ginger. That’s it. It seriously couldn’t be any easier. If you feel like you have the time you can always fresh squeeze your orange juice, but personally I use store bought and it turned out just fine.

When you’re cooking down your cranberry sauce, the little berries will pop and slowly cook down until it’s thick and jelly like in consistency. If you like your cranberry sauce chunky (I do) just use the back of your spatula to mash some of the berries, but leaving most of them fairly whole. If you prefer a less-whole berry feel, simply mash until it reaches your desired consistency.

Yes! If you prefer, swap the maple syrup for brown sugar, raw sugar, or regular white sugar.

This recipe already uses considerably less sweetener than standard cranberry sauce recipes.

If you want to use less sweetener, and plan to serve the sauce cold– keep in mind that cold foods taste less sweet than the same foods at room temperature. Be sure to taste for sweetness after your sauce cools.

Yes! Just let them sit on the counter to defrost before you start cooking them.

My favorite bourbon brand is Breckenridge (not sponsored). It has a beautiful nose and is not too sharp.

When your sauce is cooled off, transfer it to an air-tight container and it will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.

You can freeze it in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. To thaw, just leave it in the fridge overnight.

Absolutely! I love making it 1-2 days before the holiday and keep it in the fridge in an air-tight container. It actually gets even better withing a couple of days as all the ingredients melt together.

Tips For Making

The best thing about this cranberry sauce is that it’s one pot and only takes about 15 mins start to finish, depending on the desired final texture. Being able to make it ahead frees up stove space and time on Thanksgiving day so you can focus on the big items, like turkey and mac & cheese!

Be sure to dissolve the sugar in the water and bourbon before adding the cranberries. I find that this helps the cranberry sauce cook properly.

Watch the cinnamon stick. A good cinnamon stick will impart a lot of flavor into the cranberry sauce. The longer you keep it in, the more “cinnamony” it will taste. Be sure to taste to get your desired level of cinnamon.

Remember the sauce will thicken as it cools. This timing will give you a cranberry sauce that holds together well enough to spoon, but is spreadable and saucy enough to lubricate that turkey. Not that it’s dry or anything…

Alright ya’ll. If this is the only recipe you see before the holiday, I just wanna say Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I am beyond thankful for everyone who comes to LizeeAngel to read, that engages with me online, that shares my content and sends me an encouraging word. Thank you all for allowing me to do what I love!

Don't forget to tag me in your photos online @lizeeangel or using #lizeeangel. And as always, comment below and please, like, share and follow me onyoutube,instagram,twitter,facebook andpinterest!

  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup of Bourbon Whiskey
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • A pinch of freshly ground whole nutmeg
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan under high heat until it begins to simmer then reduce to medium-low heat.
  2. Allow the sauce to continue to simmer over medium-low heat until is begins to thicken and reduce&mdashapproximately 12-15 minutes. `
  3. Allow sauce to cool before eating.

How to Make Maple Bourbon Cranberry Sauce:

Simply toss all the ingredients in a saucepan, cover the pan, and bring it to a boil. Remove the lid and use a fork to mash the cranberries.

Cook until the sauce has thickened and the cranberries have lost much of their shape, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the bourbon and vanilla extract (note: if you want all of the alcohol to cook off, add the bourbon during the cooking process). Store the cranberry sauce in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

This sauce can be made up to 1 week in advance! A great way to minimize stress on the day of your feast is to make as much in advance as you can. Cranberry sauce is a great one to make ahead of time.


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Choose a 2-quart baking dish with a lid. Combine the cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in the baking dish and mix thoroughly to combine. Put the lid on, and put the dish on a rimmed baking sheet (just in case).

2. Bake for 30 minutes, stir, and return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes more.

3. When finished, remove from the oven and quickly pour the bourbon over the cranberry sauce. It will bubble and simmer as it hits the hot sauce. Stir it in, then allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature. May be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or more.


This recipe used to go by the name of "Best Cranberry Sauce" on this website, with the bourbon as an optional, but strongly recommended, ingredient. This is because you can totally make this without the bourbon, and it will still be a simple, easy and tasty cranberry sauce. So if you really cannot include alcohol, then be my guest and skip it.

But otherwise - please don't skip the bourbon! Leave it in, as God intended (or as Barbara Price at Bon Appetit intended when she created this recipe in 1991). If you haven't yet encountered the delightful marriage of bourbon and Thanksgiving, you are in for a treat. It turns out these flavors are made for each other.

This cranberry sauce is my go-to every year. It's so good, I always make extra and then figure out more things to do with it. One of my favorite things to do with it after Thanksgiving is to slather it on good bread with turkey leftovers for a Cranberry-Bleu Turkey Sandwich. It's also good warmed and dolloped onto vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

How to make Honey Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Making cranberry sauce couldn’t be easier! It takes less than 15 minutes and all you gotta do is combine all the ingredients in a pot and simmer until the berries burst.

Chances are when that happens, most of the liquid will be gone and the sauce will be chunky and thick! But if it’s not, you can continue cooking for a little bit until it does. Just be aware that the sauce will thicken further as it cools.

If you like your sauce smooth, you can use a potato masher or even transfer the (cooled) sauce to a food processor and pulse a few times for the desired consistency.

And if you prefer a sweeter sauce, you could always add more honey at the end. I find that the sweetness enhances as the sauce chills in the fridge, so I try not to overdo it! After all, we don’t want to lose that bit of tartness that makes cranberry sauce pair so well with the turkey.

As for serving, I like it at room temperature. But I always chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours for the flavors to enhance!

Cranberry and Bourbon Cocktail

  • Author: Sloan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1 x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: American


Do you have a ton of cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving? Need a cocktail for your Thanksgiving dinner? Try this simple and flavorful Cranberry and Bourbon Cocktail. This recipe also includes a simple recipe for Paleo Cranberry Sauce.


Cranberry and Bourbon Cocktail Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon Cranberry Sauce - See recipe below
  • 1.5 ounces Bourbon
  • 6 ounces Seltzer Water*
  • Ice Cubes
  • Extra cranberries, spring of Rosemary, or Cinnamon Stick for garnish

Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  • 12 ounces fresh Cranberries.
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Zest - about the zest from one orange
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup Raw Honey


Cranberry and Bourbon Cocktail Recipe

  1. Combine the cranberry sauce and bourbon in a shaker or glass. Stir to dissolve the cranberry sauce in the bourbon.
  2. In a cocktail glass, add a large ice cube and pour the cranberry bourbon mixture over the ice. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any pieces of berry skins or zest if desired.
  3. Pour the sparkling water onto the glass, stir, and garnish with cranberries, a rosemary spring, or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!

Paleo Cranberry Sauce Recipe

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent burning and to help the honey mix with the berries.
  2. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. The cranberries will start to pop as the mixture cooks.
  3. Remove from the stove and allow to cool fully. Once cooled, remove the cinnamon stick and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note: You can leave the sauce with the berries' skins or strain them through a fine-mesh strainer.



Club Soda, Sel tzer, or Sparkling water will work for this recipe.

Any cranberry sauce will work for this recipe. Even the sauce that comes jelled in a can. You'll want to strain the drink through a fine-mesh strainer if using a whole berry sauce.

Keywords: leftover cranberry sauce, cranberry cocktail, cranberry sauce cocktail

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