Do you have a ton of cranberry sauce leftover from Thanksgiving? Need a cocktail for your Thanksgiving dinner? Try this simple and flavorful Cranberry and Bourbon Cocktail. This recipe also includes a simple recipe for Paleo Cranberry Sauce.
I love cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, but it's one of those sides that I always have a ton of leftovers and no idea what to do with. Once I'm out of dressing, the cranberry sauce sits in my refrigerator until I throw it out. I was determined to find a better use for the leftover and added a little of the cranberry sauce to a simple cocktail. It was perfect! But to start, you need good Cranberry Sauce...
How to Make Paleo Cranberry Sauce
Homemade cranberry sauce is super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Plus, the flavor is a million times better than the canned stuff!
To start, you'll need the following ingredients:
- One bag of Cranberries. I like to save a few for decoration and garnish.
- Fresh squeezed orange juice and zest. Bottled or concentrate will work, but I like the fresh juice, and the zest adds extra flavor.
- Cinnamon stick. You can find whole cinnamon sticks in the grocery store with the spices. Ground could work if that's all you have.
- Raw Honey. Any honey will work, but I prefer to buy raw, local honey.
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent burning and to help the honey mix with the berries.
The cranberries will start to pop as the mixture cooks. After 10 minutes, remove from the stove and allow to fully cool. Once cooled, remove the cinnamon stick. You can leave the sauce with the skins of the berries or strain them through a fine-mesh strainer. The sauce will be thick like a jam. I like the skins removed for a smoother sauce. Serve cold.
How to Make a Cranberry and Bourbon Cocktail
This drink is simple and comes together in minutes. You'll only need three ingredients:
- Cranberry Sauce - Any sauce will work for this recipe. Even the sauce that comes jelled in a can. You'll want to strain the drink through a fine-mesh strainer if using a whole berry sauce.
- Bourbon - Any bourbon you like to drink will work. Check out my post for the Cinnamon Old Fashioned with tips for picking bourbon for cocktails.
- Club Soda, Seltzer, or Sparkling water - Look for a water that does not have any added flavor or sugar.
- Extra cranberries, rosemary, or cinnamon sticks for garnish.
To make this cocktail, combine the cranberry sauce and bourbon in a shaker or glass. Stir to combine and break up the cranberry sauce. Add a large ice cube to your cocktail glass and pour the cranberry bourbon mixture over the ice. You can pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any pieces of berry skins or zest.
Pour the sparkling water onto the glass, stir, and garnish with whole cranberries, a rosemary sprig, or a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!
Not a fan of bourbon? Use vodka or tequila in place of the bourbon. Want an alcohol-free drink for guests? Leave out the alcohol and make a flavored sparkling water drink for dinner.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The cranberry sauce should be made ahead of time to allow it to fully cool. Store the sauce in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. For the drink itself, they're best made to order and only take a minute or two.
How to Serve
Other Recipes to Try
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