Looking for the ultimate winter cocktail? This Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail is your answer! With its simple yet sophisticated blend of cranberry juice, bourbon, and a homemade rosemary sage syrup, it’s a holiday favorite. Perfect for those who enjoy a cocktail that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the overwhelm this season, which is why I enjoy making cocktails to slow down and relax. However, no matter how you’re feeling, you’ve survived another week and in my book, that calls for a drink. Today I’m teaching you how to make this cranberry bourbon cocktail.
It’s the perfect blend of sweet, tart, and warm – a trifecta of flavors that just screams ‘holiday cheer’. Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving feast, a cozy Friendsgiving, a sparkling Christmas dinner, or just looking for a delicious way to enjoy a chilly evening, this Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail is your new go-to.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how to craft the perfect cranberry cocktail. Learn what ingredients you need, what steps to follow, and why this festive drink is great for any special occasion.
So grab your favorite bottle of bourbon and let’s get ready to start mixing!
Why You’ll Enjoy This Recipe
- Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, Christmas, or none of the above, this cocktail is perfect for this time of year. The bourbon and herbs make it fall-friendly and the cranberries add a touch of holiday.
- This recipe proves that sophistication doesn’t have to be complicated. With easy-to-find ingredients and straightforward steps, you’ll feel like a pro bartender in your own home.
- The homemade rosemary sage simple syrup adds an aromatic depth that elevates this drink from ordinary to extraordinary.
- Whether it’s a cozy evening by the fire or a bustling holiday party, this cocktail fits perfectly into any winter setting.
The base of this drink is mainly bourbon and cranberry juice in equal parts. By itself, that combination makes for an exceptionally nice, easy-sipping cocktail. However, you know me – I like to step up my cocktail game and fancify things a bit.
- Bourbon – I recommend the brand Four Roses. It’s the one that has slowly converted me away from thinking bourbon is not my jam.
- Cranberry juice – go for 100% juice with no sweeteners or sugar added.
- Lemon juice – use fresh-squeezed, it makes a difference!
You’ll also need to whip up a quick rosemary sage simple syrup (I promise you that it’s easy to do!) for that, you’ll need
- Rosemary sprigs – fresh, not dried
- Sage – again, choose fresh
How to Make
I’ll walk you through the steps for making this cranberry bourbon cocktail below. For your convenience I’ve provided a full ingredients list and recipe instructions at the bottom of this post.
This drink is easy to whip up and tastes fantastic! Let’s start by making the aromatic simple syrup you’ll need for this recipe.
- You just combine a cup of water with a cup of sugar and toss in a few sprigs of rosemary and sage. Let that simmer for 5-8 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. It’s really that simple. To use, let it cool down, then strain out the rosemary and sage. Store it in a mason jar and leave in the fridge.
- Now you’re ready to make the cocktail. Grab a glass and fill it with ice. If you like these glasses, you can find them here. From what I gathered, they are the same glasses Ina Garten uses. They are even prettier in person.
- Then, add the bourbon, cranberry juice, rosemary-sage simple syrup , and a squeeze of lemon.
- Stir to combine and then sip and enjoy!
Bonus Step: Want to make it even fancier? Since I had extra herbs, I created a garnish by tying a few pieces together with string. Isn’t it pretty? I know it’s over the top, but I thought the holidays called for something special.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few FAQs you may be wondering about when it comes to making this drink. Let me know if you have additional questions and I’ll get back to you!
What type of bourbon is best for a cranberry bourbon cocktail?
For best results, use a smooth yet flavorful bourbon. It doesn’t have to be the top-shelf very best stuff because this recipe has juice and simple syrup added so there’s plenty of flavor variation. I personally use and love the brand Four Roses.
What type of glass should I serve this cocktail in?
The classic choice is a rocks glass but for this one, I went with this pretty french-style wine glass. You can also use stemless wine glasses or a classic coupe if you prefer.
Can I serve this at a party?
This is a great option for a party-friendly cocktail! The recipe card below shows you how to make a single cocktail, so just multiply it by however many guests you are expecting. You can make a big batch at once, and serve it in a punch bowl, or just set a pitcher of this cocktail out.
It can be made a day or so in advance if necessary and should keep well until you are ready to serve.
See, wasn’t that easy (and yummy!)? This is a libation I’d be proud to serve and wouldn’t mind sipping myself.
Looking for more bourbon based drink recipes? Be sure to can check out my favorite easy bourbon cocktail recipe collection. There are so many delicious drinks I’m certain you’ll enjoy!
Cherry and Happy everything! If you do try this Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail, please stop back and leave a comment and a 5-star rating below.
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Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces cranberry juice 100% juice, unsweetened
- 1/2 ounce rosemary sage simple syrup*
- Splash of lemon juice freshly squeezed
- Fresh rosemary and sage for garnish
- In a glass filled with ice, add the bourbon, cranberry juice, rosemary sage simple syrup*, and a splash of lemon juice.
- Stir to combine.
- *Rosemary Sage Simple Syrup: In a medium saucepan, combine one cup of sugar and one cup of water. Toss in a couple sprigs each of fresh rosemary and sage. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. This will take 5-8 minutes. Strain the herbs from the simple syrup and allow it to cool completely before using.