This is for you, whiskey lovers — meet the spiced cranberry bourbon sour that will be your new favorite holiday cocktail! Made with a fresh cranberry simple syrup infused with orange zest, this frothy cranberry whiskey cocktail perfectly balances tart notes with caramel-like bourbon for one complex drink. You’ll want to make this your signature cocktail all throughout the holiday season.
Sugared cranberriesfor garnish, optional (see notes)
Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan, add the cranberries, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to steep for another 10 minutes.
Place a bowl under a fine-mesh sieve. Strain the syrup in the fine-mesh sieve. Store the cranberry simple syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Spiced Cranberry Bourbon Sour
Add the egg white, bourbon, spiced cranberry simple syrup, lemon juice and bitters to a cocktail shaker with no ice. Put on the top and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
Remove the top and now add a handful of ice. Place the top back on and shake vigorously for one to two minutes to build up the frothy topping.
Strain into a chilled sour, coupe or martini glass. Garnish with sugared cranberries if desired. Enjoy!
If you'd like to make a 12-serving batch ahead of time, stir together 3 cups bourbon, 1 ½ cups cranberry simple syrup and 1 ½ cups lemon juice together in a pitcher and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. When you're ready to serve, add 4 ounces of the bourbon mixture per drink to the cocktail shaker along with the bitters and egg white. Proceed with the rest of the recipe. I recommend making one to two drinks at a time.
To make the optional sugared cranberry garnish, add ¼ cup sugar and ¼ cup water over medium-high heat to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, stir in the cranberries and turn off the heat. Make sure they're well-coated with the simple syrup. On a large plate, spread another ¼ cup sugar. Drain the cranberries and roll in the sugar. Allow to set on a wire rack for about an hour to dry.
Cranberries are only available October through January, but you can throw a few bags of cranberries in your freezer to make this cocktail year-round. No need to thaw before making the simple syrup.
You really want to use freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than bottled juice. The bottle juice isn't nearly as bright, and for a good sour, we want those full tart notes.
Before juicing the lemon, firmly roll it on the countertop a few times. This helps get the juice flowing. Pick a lemon that has a little give to it when you squeeze it to ensure to not too dried out.
Some cocktail shakers don't seal very well without ice. If your cocktail shaker leaks during the dry shake, you might want to wrap a kitchen towel around it for the first shake.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.