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+ servings
A white bowlful of Boozy Cranberry Sauce

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

Use fresh or frozen cranberries in this quick accompaniment for Thanksgiving dinner. 
Course Accompaniments
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 179kcal


  • 2 12 oz bags cranberries or frozen cranberries, washed and picked through
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus more as needed
  • 1" piece ginger unpeeled and sliced into 1/4" thick coins
  • 3 cinnamon sticks or 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (omit if you're not using cinnamon sticks)
  • 1 3" sprig rosemary
  • 1 vanilla bean split and scraped (or 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract)
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 4" piece orange peel
  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 3/4 cup bourbon


  • In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, ginger coins, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, rosemary sprig, vanilla bean seeds and pod, salt, and orange rind. 
  • Add the orange juice and bourbon to the items in the pot. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Then, reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Once you start to hear the berries burst, use the back of a large wooden spoon to gently smash some of the berry mixture. Do not smash all of the berries, leave some whole.
  • Continue cooking for 10 minutes, or until the cranberry sauce is moderately thick. It should have the consistency of oatmeal. 
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a glass or plastic storage container. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Just before serving, remove the whole spices and spoon into a serving bowl. Enjoy!


  • maple syrup, granulated sugar, or honey may be substituted for the brown sugar. 


Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 99IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg