Happy Holidays, everyone! And specifically Happy Thanksgiving. I know it’s been some time since I’ve posted a recipe so I hope y’all enjoy this one. I hope y’all have been doing well. How’s your fall been going? I’ll come back on here soon and explain what’s been going on this year with my health. Anyway, let’s get into this Bourbon Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce!
The Creation of Bourbon Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
Have you ever made cranberry sauce? I’m talking excitedly heading to the store during the holiday rush to grab a bag of fresh cranberries, driving home singing along to your favorite Christmas songs (please say one of them is Mariah’s “All I Want for Christmas” or we might have to go to counseling to repair our friendship 😂), unlock your front door, saunter into the kitchen, grab all of the ingredients you need to make the cranberry sauce out of your pantry, all of the ingredients start boiling away in your favorite pot to then taste it and think, “What in the heck is this?! Did I do that? Nah, these can’t possibly be the same type of cranberries they use in that can!”
Come on! Raise your hand. I know I’m not alone. We followed some old recipe from our grandma’s favorite cookbook and now we’re left questioning if we can ever trust grandma’s fave cookbook ever again! It just wasn’t sweet enough, didn’t have any substantial flavors from spices. Trust, this is a story I know ALL too well. The first two batches I ever made deserved to have a meeting with the garbage disposal.
Set out to make sure that travesty never occurred again so I developed a recipe, Bourbon Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce, that I am extremely proud of and know for a fact you all will love. It’s not lacking any flavor thanks to the Saigon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, salt, and cayenne pepper. YES, cayenne pepper! Adding a little bit of heat brings out more flavors and sweetness in fruits, in my opinion. I’ve done it a few times before and one of people’s favorite ways to try this concept out is with my Jalapeño Candied Bacon Peach Cobbler. It’s one of the first desserts gone at the dessert table!
Tips for Making the Perfect Bourbon Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce
My first tip is to make this a few days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve it or you can freeze it. If you decide to freeze it reheat the cranberry sauce in a saucepan by simmering for 5 minutes to evaporate off the extra water that inhabited your cranberry sauce as it was in the freezer.
The second tip is to use what you have, meaning if you have cinnamon sticks instead of ground cinnamon, then use the cinnamon sticks and remove them before serving. If you have whole cloves instead of ground cloves just use 2 whole cloves and fish them out before serving the cranberry sauce. I used 2 whole cloves this time because I was too tired to grind up the cloves.
The third tip is if you like the Jellied Cranberry Sauce in the can, all you have to do with this recipe is blend up the sauce with a blender or stick blender. It will come out of the blender with a very smooth consistency and creamy texture, if you place it in the fridge it will gel right on up!
And the fourth tip is about the liquors used in this recipe. You can skip them if you want, but the flavor will not be the same. It’s not enough liquor in here to get anyone drunk and the alcohol will cook off. I used Maker’s Mark Bourbon and Crown Royal Vanilla Whiskey in this Bourbon Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce. Use your favorite bourbon and if you don’t own Crown Royal Vanilla Whiskey increase the vanilla extract in the recipe to 2 teaspoons.
The last tip I have to offer is to make a beverage with the leftover cranberry sauce. You can do either an alcoholic beverage or a punch or limeade. I made a killer Frozen Cranberry Cosmo last year and I know your guests would absolutely love that too!
That’s all of the tips I have for you guys today. I hope you have a successful Thanksgiving dinner with your loved ones! Let me know in the comment section when you’re going to attempt this and what your results were like. You can also let me know your thoughts and tag me in your pictures on Twitter or Instagram: @brittsliladvice.
This Bourbon Orange Vanilla Cranberry Sauce is sure to please your pickiest guests.
- 12- ounce bag fresh cranberries
- 1 Fuji apple finely diced
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup organic brown sugar
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon organic ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon organic ground cardamom
- 1/8 teaspoon organic ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Maker’s Mark Bourbon
- 1 tablespoon Crown Royal Vanilla Whiskey
- Wash your cranberries and place them into a saucepan and place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan, except for the bourbon and vanilla whiskey.
- Bring the ingredients to a boil and boil for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the bourbon and vanilla whiskey. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst.
- Let the sauce sit at room temperature until it cools down before transferring to a storage container. Place the storage container in the fridge until it’s ready to be served.