Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

I know that Thanksgiving cranberry time is now past, but bookmark this recipe for Christmas because — if you can’t tell by the title — it will definitely kick your holidays up a notch.

The credit for this one goes to my lovely sister, Sarah, who is the cranberry queen of our family.  Every year, she and her husband Jeff (a.k.a. Gimme Some Oven’s talented web designer!) research creative new recipes to try for Thanksgiving.  And once again, they did not disappoint.  We all gathered at their place in Chicago this year for an all-day homemade feast, featuring a pomegranate-mustard-glazed turkey, yummy stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, blue cheese green beans, homemade sourdough and na’an, pumpkin cheesecake…and this orange bourbon cranberry sauce.

Once I taste-tested the cranberries, I asked if I could take a quick photo to share with you all before they disappeared.  And it’s a good thing I did, because I’m pretty sure everyone went back for seconds with these.  So tangy, sweet, and delicious.  And that extra kick of bourbon made them extra fun.  Highly recommend giving them a try!

What was your favorite food this Thanksgiving?

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

A simple recipe for cranberry sauce with the extra zest of orange and kick of bourbon!


  • 2 (12 oz.) packages of cranberries
  • 2/3 c. white sugar
  • 1 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 c. water
  • zest of one orange, plus extra for garnish
  • 1-3 Tbsp. bourbon (to taste)


Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook on medium-high for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced, stirring occasionally. Once most of the cranberries have popped, remove from heat and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Serve garnished with extra orange zest. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. (Simply rewarm the cranberries later to serve.)

Recipe slightly adapted from [Sweet Savory Life|]

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

This post contains affiliate links.

Leave a Comment:


  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 26, 2012 @ 5:02 am (#)

    I have a cranberry recipe coming up next week if I can hurry up and get it finished :) but it doesnt have bourbon in it. You were the SMART one :)

  2. little kitchie — November 26, 2012 @ 6:29 am (#)

    stop it – this sounds sooo good! great idea adding in that bourbon. :)

    my favorite food this year was the stuffing, as always. amen.

  3. Sarah M. — November 26, 2012 @ 7:58 am (#)

    My favorite T-Day food was (and always is) my Grandma’s homemade rolls topped with homemade strawberry jam. She sent some home with me, and I polished ’em all off yesterday : )

  4. bet — November 26, 2012 @ 8:22 am (#)

    oh man. not sure i can wait until christmas to try this. yum.

  5. Carrian-Sweet Basil — November 26, 2012 @ 3:56 pm (#)

    Don’t you just love how pretty cranberry sauce is? This will be perfect for Christmas now!

  6. Cassie | Bake Your Day — November 26, 2012 @ 4:00 pm (#)

    Bourbon is definitely the way to go with cranberries, I have made it this way the past couple of years. Next time I am adding brown sugar for sure!

  7. Laura Dembowski — November 26, 2012 @ 7:45 pm (#)

    I made a similar recipe the other night but without bourbon. I love a hint of bourbon in foods, so I’ll have to give it a try. Dried cherries are my new favorite thing to put in cranberry sauce.

  8. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel — November 26, 2012 @ 9:02 pm (#)

    Eek, while I’m usually a dork who likes the canned version, I cannot resist this gorgeous cranberry sauce. Hello, it’s pretty, and two, it’s homemade, and three, it has bourbon in it. Nuff said.

  9. Ali's Mom — November 26, 2012 @ 9:09 pm (#)

    My fave food was the dressing, as always. But these yummy cranberries were a close second.

  10. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 26, 2012 @ 11:46 pm (#)

    I think stuffing is my favorite side, but the cranberry sauce is a close second. Seriously love your kicked up sauce!

  11. Erin @ Texanerin Baking — November 27, 2012 @ 2:57 pm (#)

    So pretty! I made a cranberry orange cake for Thanksgiving and that was my favorite. :) And I’ve taken your advice and bookmarked this. Can’t wait to try it out! Although I think I’ll try it with honey.

  12. Kathryn — November 28, 2012 @ 6:04 am (#)

    Orange and cranberry is such a great combination, this will be perfect for our Christmas meal!

  13. Ashley — December 1, 2012 @ 5:07 pm (#)

    This was my first time making cranberry sauce. I have now sworn off eating the canned stuff ever again. It was fun and it tastes amazing! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  14. Tara — December 18, 2012 @ 9:44 am (#)

    This looks so good. I love cranberry sauce and I have added it to my Mouth Watering Mondays post so come on over to see it at Cheers, Tara

  15. Stacy Menifee — November 29, 2013 @ 11:40 pm (#)

    These were the best cranberries I’ve ever made! There are none left, and I am sad. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

  16. Mike — November 28, 2014 @ 11:47 am (#)

    Worked out well, pretty darn sweet, I’d cut back a little bit more on the white sugar next time. The fresh orange juice and orange peel at the end really set it off but I did 4 tbls of bourbon and could barely taste it, I’d go stronger next time. Thanks for the recipe though!

  17. Joy — November 4, 2015 @ 4:36 pm (#)

    I made this last year and it was freakin’ amazing.  Seriously, thanks!  Will be making it again this year.

    • Ali — November 4th, 2015 @ 4:40 pm

      Yessss, so glad to hear it! Hope you enjoy it again this year!

  18. Kristin — November 22, 2015 @ 12:10 pm (#)

    Hi! Thank you so much for this! I have made this before without the bourbon. My son who hates cranberry jelly absolutely LOVES this!!! He says it is second best part of Thanksgiving dinner. He wants me to make it and can it so we can have it for more than just Thanksgiving. LOL. I am hoping this will work in the water bath canner:) Thank you again. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 23rd, 2015 @ 11:44 am

      You’re very welcome Kristin, and we’re so glad your son loves it to! We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)

  19. Kirsten — November 22, 2015 @ 7:43 pm (#)

    I’m prepping for Thanksgiving, just made this, oh my goodness the BEST cranberry sauce I’ve ever had!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 23rd, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

      Thanks Kristen, we’re so happy you liked the recipe! :D

  20. Robin Fisher — November 23, 2016 @ 2:21 pm (#)

    Great recipe!  Only used 1 cup (lightly packed) of brown sugar and added a pinch of salt.  Added 2 TBSP bourbon (Eligah Craig) after letting it rest – 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 23rd, 2016 @ 10:30 pm

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Robin! :)


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