This Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce is a must make for Thanksgiving! Perfectly sweet with hints of citrus and smoky vanilla bourbon!
This recipe and photos have been updated since the original post on 11/19/2014
Is it just me or is cranberry sauce the side dish that seems to get forgotten about at the Thanksgiving table. People see it and either pass over it or just take a tiny spoonful to be polite. I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite side dish, I’m more into these Balsamic Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. However, it is nice to have something sweet to put on the turkey.
This year the goal is to get the family to actually take a serving of cranberry sauce and I’m making it happen with this Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce!
Ingredients For Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce
- Fresh or frozen cranberries
- Bourbon or whisky
- Maple syrup
- An orange
- Cinnamon sticks
How to Make Bourbon Orange Cranberry Sauce
Making this cranberry sauce is really no different than following the recipe on the back of the bag of cranberries. Start by bringing the water and maple syrup to a boil in a large saucepan. Once it’s boiling add in the cranberries and cinnamon sticks. Turn the heat down so that the cranberries continue to gently boil. You’ll want to cover the pan partially with a lid to prevent splatters all over the stove.
Cook the cranberries for about 10 minutes or until most of them have burst open. Turn off the heat and stir in the orange zest, orange juice and bourbon. Cool the cranberries to room temperature before placing then in the fridge to chill. I usually leave the cinnamon sticks in until just before serving for extra cinnamon flavor, but you don’t have to.
Tips and FAQ
Can I use frozen cranberries? Yes. Both fresh or frozen cranberries will work for this recipe.
Can the cinnamon stick be replaced with ground cinnamon? Yes. If you don’t want to use cinnamon sticks replace them with a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Taste and add more depending on what you like.
Do I Have to Use Bourbon? If you are completely opposed to using bourbon or you don’t have any on hand you can omit it, but I highly recommend splurging and getting some. If you choose not to use it, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Does the alcohol cook off in the cranberry sauce? Not entirely. You may have noticed that I chose to stir the bourbon in after the cranberries had cooked. This means that the alcohol is still full proof in the sauce. If you add it in the beginning with the maple syrup and water, some of the alcohol will evaporate, but a portion will still be present. With a cooking time of 15 minutes you will still be left with approximately 40% alcohol.
How far ahead of time can the cranberry sauce be made? This cranberry sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance and any leftovers will keep for several days after.
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, bring the maple syrup and water to a boil. Add in the cranberries and cinnamon stick(s) and lower the heat so that the cranberries continue to gently boil. Cover the pan partially with a lid to prevent splattering. Cook the cranberries for 10-12 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the orange zest, juice and bourbon. Cool the cranberry sauce before putting it in an airtight container and refrigerating until ready to serve. The cinnamon stick may be left in for a stronger cinnamon flavor and removed before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 0g