Gimme Some Oven

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

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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?

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Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


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
  • 13 Tbsp. bourbon (to taste)


  1. 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.
  2. 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

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39 comments on “Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  18. 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!!!

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

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

  20. 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 – 

  21. By far the best cranberry sauce!

  22. Go to recipe the last few years! Only thing I add is a bit of cinnamon. Love this recipe – it’s a keeper! Thank you

  23. Honest to goodness..this is truly the best cranberry sauce recipe I have ever tried. Perfect orange flavor, not too sweet, not too tart. The bourbon seems to bring out all the right flavors. I will be making this recipe every year. No joke folks.

  24. The recipe calls for 2 (12 oz) packages of cranberries. That seems an awful lot, did you mean 12 ounces total or 24?

  25. I used this recipe at Thanksgiving and now again for New Years Eve – I added only a little more than 1/2 cup brown sugar and added 1/2 cup regular white granulated sugar . Added 3 large cinnamon sticks while over the heat..
    removed post cooking. I used 2 teaspoons Kentucky Burbon and it is , again , a great recipe . I’ve a lovey 12 lb hen going into the oven tomorrow and bring in 2019!!! Thanks

  26. I added a twist to this … 1/2 cup blueberries … small box of raisins …splash of pure orange flavoring … substituting monkfruit sweetener for the white sugar … 1 ambrosia apple dices in small pieces! Absolutely the best ever !

  27. Added half a teaspoon of sumac to the recipe and it makes something already delicious and takes it to the next level. Perhaps even some red pepper flakes for some subtle heat?

  28. I’d like to recommend you suggest zesting one of the oranges prior to squeezing them. Just in case your readers throw away the squeezed oranges prior to zesting.

  29. I made a half batch but it turned out great! I stirred constantly to keep the sugars from burning but it tasted great!

  30. I have made 3 years in a row now and it is a staple at my holiday table now. It turns out almost my entire Thanksgiving is bourbon themed. Right down to the paining bourbon carmel cheesecake. It is wonderful addition and had a great light flavor with a tiny bit of tart to it.

  31. I found numerous recipes while searching for Bourbon Cranberry Sauce and decided this one sounded the best. One of the big differences I did see though, was the amount of bourbon used in others. I decided to replace half of the 3/4 water with bourbon and still add the 3 tablespoons. Best cranberry sauce ever!

  32. Based on the wonderful comments I’m going to try making this today to can and give away for gifts! So excited to try it!

  33. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It’s been a staple on my holiday table for years. One thing I add for additional flavor is 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier Orange Liqueur.

  34. I have never liked any type of cranberry sauce or relish but this one is exceptional. Usually I have 3/4 leftover. This time there was none and guests asked for recipe.

  35. I don’t even like cranberry sauce or relish, but this one is delicious. I usually have some leftover sometimes at least 3/4 of it. this time I had none. And people were asking for the recipe.