Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

When the holidays come around I think of large stuffed turkeys with all the fixin’s, the aroma of fresh herbs like rosemary and sage, and a tart but fresh tasting cranberry sauce. With all the fresh cranberries available around here the sweet cranberry jelly log that comes in the can just won’t be found on my table. I am so lucky to live where the cranberries grow, at least where 17 million kilograms of cranberries are grown in bogs each year.

A crisp fall day walking through the cranberry bogs will inspire all sorts of creations with this incredibly healthy berry. My absolute favourite combination is my Bourbon Cranberry Sauce recipe. The smooth warmth of Jack Daniels paired with those perfect red berries makes for a turkey side that is sure to steal the show.

Around this time of year frozen cranberries are easy to come by and generally pretty inexpensive. Plus cooking with bourbon can be a whole lot of fun if you have a taster on the side. I always make enough to give a jar to each host that is kind enough to invite me to their holiday feast or as a gift to those who will attend my holiday dinners. Now that my secret is out, I bet I’ll see those holiday invites rolling in!

• 6 cups cranberries
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup bourbon

1. Combine sugar, water, and vinegar in a tall-sided saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then add cranberries.
3. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and stir rapidly uncovered for 5 minutes until cranberries burst.
4. Stir in bourbon.
5. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2″ of headspace. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes for 250ml (1 cup) jars.

Makes three 250ml (half pint) jars or six 125ml jars.

For more information on the cranberry bogs in BC check out my Cranberry Sauce post on Garden Therapy. Thank goodness I found My Own Labels so my jars look just as good on the outside as they taste inside.

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Stephanie Rose (112 Posts)

Stephanie Rose is a gardener who lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where she has grown over 100 edibles, 400 perennials, and countless other plants in her small urban yard; a hobby that continues to grow with each season. Stephanie writes DIY garden projects, yummy recipes and crafty goodness at Garden Therapy where she hopes you will find something to inspire you to get outside for a little, well, garden therapy.


  1. cc says

    looks great, but I’m confused. You mention both fresh cranberries and frozen ones in your post, and the recipe doesn’t specify. Which should I use? And if it’s frozen, should I defrost first?


  2. says

    Hi cc,

    There is very little difference between a fresh and a frozen cranberry in terms of how you cook with it. If you use frozen berries, just throw them in the pot as you would fresh berries and they will cook up just the same. I would rinse them if there is a lot of frost built up (as it could leave a freezer taste) but that little bit will cook away anyhow so it’s not going to be an issue if your freezer is clean.

    If you buy fresh berries, freeze them simply in a large freezer bag and grab a handful when you want to add them to baking or recipes.

    ~ Stephanie from Garden Therapy

  3. doug says

    Sounds tasty, but as a Kentucky native, let me remind you that jack daniels is tennessee whiskey, NOT bourbon, haha. I’ll be making mine with something from the bluegrass 😉

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