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

  • 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

This post contains affiliate links.

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70 comments on “Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce”

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  7. 5 stars
    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

  8. 5 stars
    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.

  9. 5 stars
    The recipe calls for 2 (12 oz) packages of cranberries. That seems an awful lot, did you mean 12 ounces total or 24?

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  11. 5 stars
    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

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  13. 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 !

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

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