Enjoy this tasty Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail this holiday season. It's made with cranberry simple syrup and garnished with an orange peel and fresh cranberries! It's perfect for any holiday party.
This delicious cranberry bourbon cocktail is a holiday take on the classic old-fashioned. It's a great drink to enjoy during the holiday season. Cranberries are perfect for this time of year and they pair so well with the bourbon in this beverage. If you still want a festive cocktail but aren't a fan of bourbon, try my Christmas Moscow Mule or espresso martini with tequila instead.
This holiday bourbon cocktail is also known as a cranberry old-fashioned or cranberry bourbon sour. It is made with a mix of cranberry juice, bourbon and homemade cranberry simple syrup. Garnished with fresh cranberries and rosemary for a festive-looking drink. Serve with this Easy Cranberry Baked Brie as an appetizer and Short Rib Ragu when hosting friends!
🌟Why You'll Love this Recipe
- Quick and easy. There is minimal prep work that goes into making this bourbon whiskey cocktail. The homemade simple syrup essentially makes itself and once it's done everything just gets poured into a rocks glass.
- Warming and cozy. 'Tis the season for cozy recipes. The drink is perfect to enjoy on a chilly night while sitting by the fire.
- Signature cocktail. This cranberry old-fashioned is the perfect cocktail to serve any bourbon lover and it will be a hit at any party.
- Simple syrup. You will need water, granulated sugar and fresh or frozen cranberries. Full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Bourbon- Use your favorite bourbon for this cocktail. I've used both Angel's Envy and Maker's Mark.
- Bitters- you will need just 1-2 dashes of bitters for this recipe.
See the recipe card below for quantities and remaining ingredients.
📖Substitutions & Variations
- Use store-bought simple syrup to make this delicious cocktail even easier. If you can't find cranberry simple syrup in the grocery store, you can buy it online. Try 1883's Cranberry Simple Syrup or Root 23's Cranberry Apple Spice for a hint of fall flavor.
- Replace the sugar with pure maple syrup to give this Christmas cocktail a more complex flavor.
- If you a fan of sparkling drinks, add a splash of club soda or even ginger beer.
Step 1: Make the cranberry simple syrup. Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Step 2: Cook until cranberries are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Let the syrup cool then drain through a mesh strainer.
Step 3: In a mixing glass or cocktail shaker, add all of the ingredients and some ice.
Step 4: Stir everything together with a cocktail spoon, pour into glasses with ice and enjoy!
Bitters are made of flavorless alcohol mixed with aromatic herbs, fruit and roots. The aromatics are typically soaked in alcohol and create a bitter or bittersweet flavor.
Yes! If you don't want to make or don't have time to make the cranberry simple syrup, you can use another ½-1 ounce of cranberry juice.
Use high-quality bourbon for this recipe but not the most expensive one because you will be adding fruit juice and simple syrup. Check out this list of the best bourbons to drink in 2023. If you don't have a favorite bourbon, here are some recommendations:
- Use a large ice cube in each glass rather than multiple small ones to make it fancier. I recommend this ice cube tray. You can also use whiskey stones.
- A bar spoon is super helpful when making this cranberry old-fashioned. I like to mix this cranberry cocktail in a mixing glass but a cocktail shaker also works great.
- The simple syrup will stay good for a couple of weeks in the fridge if stored in a sealed container.
This cranberry bourbon cocktail is best served immediately after stirring. Garnish with orange peel, cranberries and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
It is a great drink to serve at your Christmas party alongside a hot Aperol cocktail or even at your next dinner party with friends. Serve it for an after-dinner drink after enjoying pesto chicken lasagna.
More Holiday Recipes
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Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
- 4 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce cranberry simple syrup, recipe below
- 2 ounces cranberry juice
- 4 dashes bitters
- 2 orange peels
- 2 tablespoons cranberries, for garnish
- 2 sprigs rosemary, for garnish
Cranberry Simple Syrup
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
- In 2 cocktail glasses, add one large ice cube, whiskey stone or 2-3 smaller ice cubes.
- In each glass, pour in 2 ounces of bourbon, ½ ounce of simple syrup, 1 ounce of cranberry juice and 2 dashes of bitters.
- Stir each cocktail with a cocktail spoon. Twist an orange peel over each glass and drop it into the drink. Garnish with 1 tablespoon of cranberries and 1 sprig of rosemary. Serve and enjoy!
Cranberry Simple Syrup
- In a medium saucepan, add all of the simple syrup ingredients. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until cranberries are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Let the syrup cool then drain through a mesh strainer. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Use a large ice cube in each glass rather than multiple small ones to make it fancier. I recommend this . You can also use .
- A is super helpful when making this cranberry old-fashioned. I like to mix this cranberry cocktail in a mixing glass but a also works great.
- The simple syrup will stay good for a couple of weeks in the fridge if stored in a sealed .
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.