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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Bourbon Cranberry Sauce


Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Lynley Jones

Step away from the can! A super-easy recipe that everyone will be talking about.


Bourbon Cranberry Sauce made in the Adventure Kitchen.

Bourbon Cranberry Sauce made in the Adventure Kitchen.

1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries

2 cups white sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup bourbon (see notes)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Choose a 2-quart baking dish with a lid. Combine the cranberries, sugar and cinnamon in the baking dish and mix thoroughly to combine. Put the lid on, and put the dish on a rimmed baking sheet (just in case).

2. Bake for 30 minutes, stir, and return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes more.

3. When finished, remove from the oven and quickly pour the bourbon over the cranberry sauce. It will bubble and simmer as it hits the hot sauce. Stir it in, then allow the cranberry sauce to cool to room temperature. May be kept in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks or more.

Adapted from Bourbon Cranberry Sauce on



This recipe used to go by the name of "Best Cranberry Sauce" on this website, with the bourbon as an optional, but strongly recommended, ingredient. This is because you can totally make this without the bourbon, and it will still be a simple, easy and tasty cranberry sauce. So if you really cannot include alcohol, then be my guest and skip it.

But otherwise - please don't skip the bourbon! Leave it in, as God intended (or as Barbara Price at Bon Appetit intended when she created this recipe in 1991). If you haven't yet encountered the delightful marriage of bourbon and Thanksgiving, you are in for a treat. It turns out these flavors are made for each other. 

This cranberry sauce is my go-to every year. It's so good, I always make extra and then figure out more things to do with it. One of my favorite things to do with it after Thanksgiving is to slather it on good bread with turkey leftovers for a Cranberry-Bleu Turkey Sandwich. It's also good warmed and dolloped onto vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Ground Cassia Cinnamon

1/2-cup sized jar.

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