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Simple Life, Simple Food, All Inspired by my Appalachian Roots

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

It’s Tuesday and Thanksgiving is only days away, but it’s a great day to go ahead and make the Cranberry sauce. It will take one thing off your plate on the big day.

Cranberry sauce has been getting a bad rap lately. When made from fresh it is a wonderful side and oh so good on those leftover sandwiches. This recipe will have you rethinking why you haven’t had this on your table yet.

The Unexpected New Favorite

Cranberries was never my favorite side at the Thanksgiving table when I was younger. Then I discovered fresh cranberries and it has become one of my favorite things to have on my plate.

I made a lot this year and it’s a good thing my Fincee has already been into it and even ate it on her ice cream, who knew that was a thing.

You can make this one up to a week prior to the big day and it will last great in the fridge.

What you need to make this recipe

  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Maple Syrup (use pure maple syrup)
  • White Sugar
  • An Orange
  • Bourbon (again like the maple syrup use a quality bourbon. I use Woodford Reserve)
  • Water

I used a bourbon barrel aged maple syrup that someone gave me as a present. I have always used good quality maple syrup, which you can use in this recipe. But the extra flavor that it created this time I will be keeping that in the pantry as a staple.

Just How Easy It Is

Into a Dutch over or large pot dump in the bag of cranberries. Sprinkle the sugar onto the berries. Zest the orange right on top of that then juice the orange into the pot. Add the maple syrup and the bourbon and then the water.

Start over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the cranberries begin to pop open. Turn down the heat to medIum low and cook until the majority of the cranberries have burst.

Continue to stir occasionally. Turn off the heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Put into containers and stir in the refrigerator until ready to use.

My Favorites Used in this Recipe

Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

This easy to make side dish will become a new family favorite. If you are a bourbon lover that thinks they don't like cranberry sauce this will win you over. Its a quick and easy make ahead side that goes great with ham. turkey, duck or chicken. It is also an essential in the day after sandwich.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 Cups


  • 32 Ounces Fresh Cranberries The Big Bag at the grocery store
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup I used a Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup
  • 1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Orange Zest
  • Juice Medium Orange Should be about 1/2 cup
  • 2 Ounces Bourbon
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water


  1. Into a pot add the fresh cranberries.
  2. Sprinkle over the sugar
  3. Zest the orange into the pot and then squeeze the juice of the orange in as well
  4. Add in the maple syrup, bourbon and water.
  5. Cook over medium heat util the cranberries begin to burst then lower the heat to medium low until most of the berries have burst, about 18 to 20 minutes, string occasionally.
  6. Turn off the heat allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.