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October 18, 2021

Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail

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One rock glass filled with a round ice cube, cranberry old fashioned cocktail and garnished with an orange and cinnamon stick.

EASY & DELICIOUS CRANBERRY OLD FASHIONED RECIPE

If you are looking for an easy yet delicious cocktail recipe perfect for the holidays, look no futher than this Cranberry Old Fashioned recipe.

Whether you’re celebrating with guests this holiday season, or simply looking for a classic cocktail recipe with a twist for an evening at home, you cannot go wrong with a bourbon old fashion.

Made with bourbon whiskey, bitters, cranberry simple syrup and garnished with orange zest and a cinnamon sticks – this bourbon cocktail will not disappoint. It’s become a true holiday favorite.

In this bourbon cocktail post, we will cover the following topics. Feel free to use the links below to navigate the post.

SHOP OLD FASHIONED ESSENTIALS

A bottle of Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey for an old fashioned recipe.

WHAT IS AN OLD FASHIONED COCKTAIL?

An old fashioned recipe is a type of cocktail that was first referenced in print in 1887. Bourbon is typically used for an old-fashioned cocktail, but other types of brown alcohols can also be used. Traditionally, it’s made with four ingredients: liquor or liqueur, simple syrup (or sugar), ice, and bitters.

This old fashioned cocktail will include cranberries, orange zest, cranberry juice/liqueur (Crop organic cranberry liqueur), Angostura bitters, cranberries for garnish/optional ingredients.

We love this cranberry cocktail as it helps to cut through the sweetness of Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas festivities without overwhelming your taste buds or getting you tipsy too quickly.

WHAT ARE ANGOSTURA BITTERS AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE THEM?

Angostura bitters are a spirit-based botanical extract flavored with herbs and spices. It was first produced in Trinidad by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, Surgeon General of the army of Simon Bolivar on the island of Trinidad in 1824.

After Dr. Siegert left Trinidad he moved back to Germany where he continued production of his elixir which soon became known as Angostura Bitters. The name “angostura” is derived from “angostura bark”.

Angostura bitters can be used to add flavor and depth to this delicious cranberry old-fashioned, but they’re also useful in many cocktails.

CAN AN OLD FASHIONED BE MADE WITHOUT BITTERS?

Yes. It’s not traditional, but it can be done. I recommend giving it a try and add the bitters as you see fit.

A bottle of Basil Hayden's Bourbon Whiskey and a bottle of Angostura bitters for a cranberry old fashioned recipe.

CRANBERRY OLD FASHIONED INGREDIENTS

  • Whiskey
  • Bitters
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Fresh cranberries (sugared cranberries are also delicious!)
  • Orange zest or orange peel for garnish (optional)
  • Rosemary for garnish (optional)

WHAT WHISKEY MAKES THE BEST OLD FASHIONED?

Any whiskey will do for your old fashioned, however, if you are looking to buy a bottle specifically for an old fashioned recipe here is what we would suggest:

  • Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Whiskey
  • Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • Maker’s Mark

HOW TO MAKE A CRANBERRY OLD FASHIONED

Fill your glasses with ice (preferrably a large round or square ice cube). Add bourbon whiskey, bitters, cranberry simple syrup and stir together for 5-10 seconds.

Garnish with orange zest, orange zest, or orange slice, fresh cranberries and/or cinnamon sticks and fresh rosemary.

Serve and enjoy!

HOW TO MAKE CRANBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP

To make the cranberry simple syrup, bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, and one cup for fresh cranberries to a boil. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.

For a spiced cranberry old fashioned, add 3-4 cinnamon sticks. Strain with a fine mesh sieve. Be sure to cool before serving.

One rock glass filled with a round ice cube, cranberry old fashioned cocktail and garnished with an orange and cinnamon stick.

ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENTS & TIPS FOR MAKING A CRANBERRY OLD FASHIONED

When serving this cranberry old fashioned on the rocks I recommend serving with a large square or cicular ice cube as opposed to smaller ice cubes. Smaller ice cubes will melt much faster diluting this delicious cocktail.

If for any reason you do not want to make cranberry simple syrup, you can also substitute with fresh cranberry juice.

Want to add a special twist to this holiday cocktail recipe? We love to add sugared cranberries as opposed to fresh cranberries. You can also add a sugar sim, if preferred.

OTHER MUST TRY COCKTAIL RECIPES:

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Cranberry Old Fashioned cocktail

Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail

3.67 from 3 votes
If you are looking for an easy yet delicious cocktail recipe perfect for the holidays, look no futher than this Cranberry Old Fashioned recipe.
Whether you're celebrating with guests this holiday season, or simply looking for a classic cocktail recipe with a twist for an evening at home, you cannot go wrong with a bourbon old fashion.
SERVES/MAKES: 1 cocktail
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE COCKTAIL

  • 3 ounces Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 ounce cranberry simple syrup
  • 3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, garnish
  • orange zest, garnish
  • fresh cranberries, garnish
  • cinnamon stick, garnish

FOR THE CRANBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks, optional

Instructions:

FOR THE CRANBERRY OLD FASHIONED

  • Fill your glasses with ice (preferably a large round or square ice cube). Add bourbon whiskey, bitters, cranberry simple syrup and stir together for 5-10 seconds.
  • Garnish with orange zest, orange zest, or orange slice, fresh cranberries and/or cinnamon sticks and fresh rosemary.
  • Serve & enjoy!

FOR THE CRANBERRY SIMPLE SYRUP

  • To make the cranberry simple syrup, bring 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 cup for fresh cranberries to a boil. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.
  • For a spiced cranberry old fashioned, add 3-4 cinnamon sticks. Strain with a fine mesh sieve. Be sure to cool before serving.

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