Disclosure: The bourbon for this chai-cranberry bourbon smash was provided by Redwood Empire American Whiskey at no charge for my review. All opinions are my own.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop falalalala’ing with the holidays here, so what better way to get into the spirit than with another festive cocktail? As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many holiday cocktails in your arsenal. With all the fun gatherings, there’s always an excuse to whip up a good drink, and I promise this chai-cranberry bourbon smash will quickly become a new favorite holiday cocktail.
We entertain a lot during the holidays, so I’m always trying to come up with new recipes. Sure, I have my favorite go-to recipes that I always like to make each year, but I don’t want to be a one-trick pony. Creating something new keeps me inspired and I had so much fun dreaming up this chai-cranberry bourbon smash.
As we all know by now, I love bourbon. A little bourbon here. A little bourbon there. Clearly, bourbon is my jam, so I knew I needed a holiday bourbon cocktail in my life. Serendipitously, I also made this brown sugar-chai tea simple syrup for a sangria but didn’t use it because the sangria was perfectly sweet without it. So, hey, those two sound perfect together, right?
From there, I added a couple other seasonal ingredients, and just like that, I had the perfect holiday bourbon smash. If that doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.
How to Make a Chai-Cranberry Bourbon Smash
Now let’s get to mixing. To start, you’ll need the brown sugar-chai tea simple syrup, which you can find here. Grab your cocktail shaker and add the cooled simple syrup with fresh cranberries and rosemary and muddle.
Once the cranberries break down, we add some lime wedges and muddle those as well. I like to add the lime wedges separately because if the cocktail shaker is too full, it makes it hard to effectively muddle the cranberries.
After we muddle, it’s time to add the most important ingredient of all: bourbon. For this chai-cranberry bourbon smash, I used Redwood Empire, which is a blend of 60 percent rye and 40 percent bourbon from Graton Distilling Co., located just west of Sonoma County, California. Graton Distilling ages the blend in port, wine and American oak barrels, making for a bourbon with a slightly spicy character. After the initial spice hits, the bourbon finishes with smooth vanilla and caramel notes. With that delicious flavor profile, I knew Redwood Empire would be perfect for this chai-cranberry bourbon smash.
Now we shake everything together, strain into ice-filled glasses and top with ginger ale for a fizzy kick. I like garnishing with a sprig of rosemary. Not only is this a nod to the drink’s ingredients but rosemary also looks like small Christmas tree branches. And that’s just fun.
Perfect Pairing for Chai-Cranberry Bourbon Smash
With it being the holidays, we need a festive meal to go along with this chai-cranberry bourbon smash, and a roasted duck is perfect. Duck is such a rich meat that it holds up to the bourbon well, and it pairs beautifully with the warm spice.
I hope you get into the holiday spirit and try this chai-cranberry bourbon smash. You will feel oh-so festive sipping on this delicious holiday cocktail. Please let me know how you enjoyed this chai-cranberry bourbon smash recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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Liven up your holiday party with this chai-cranberry bourbon smash. Full of warm spice, this cocktail will have you feeling the holiday spirit in no time.
1/4 cup whole cranberries
1 ounce brown sugar-chai tea simple syrup
2 rosemary sprigs, divided
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
2 ounces bourbon
Splash of ginger ale
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle cranberries, simple syrup and one rosemary sprig until the cranberries breakdown. Add the lime wedges and muddle until they also break down.
- Add bourbon and a handful of ice. Place the top on the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. Strain into ice-filled glasses.
- Pour in a splash of ginger ale and gently stir. Garnish with the remaining rosemary sprig. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Category: Cocktail
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: bourbon, bourbon smash, cranberry cocktail, chai cocktail