This cranberry whiskey sour has a flavor that will remind you of the holiday season. That tart cranberry flavor mixed with the earthiness of the bourbon. Stirred up with with the laughter of those you love the most.
The best part is that you don’t need a fancy shaker or other equipment. You literally just pour and stir, and it’s ready to go
Make this your signature holiday cocktail for your next party or just to get you through a long night of gift-wrapping.
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Have you ever hosted a holiday get-together and felt like you had to play bartender all night long? One person wants a White Russian. Another wants some sort of vodka drink. Oh, and could you grab me a beer while you’re at it?
It can be a never-ending job. Sadness hits as you hear laughter from around the tree while you’re pouring and mixing and making big messes in the kitchen… and before you know it, you missed the whole party.
What if you had one signature holiday cocktail that came together in minutes and you didn’t have to miss any of the laughter, the jokes, and the fun?!
That’s where this spin on a classic easy whiskey sour recipe comes into play. A cranberry whiskey sour recipe is exactly what you need this holiday season to master holiday entertaining.
Whether it’s just you and your significant other, or you’ve got a whole crowd coming in. Having this recipe in your back pocket will make life so much easier for you.
Cranberry Whiskey Sour Ingredient Spotlight
Simple Syrup – I love making a batch of simple syrup a few days ahead of time, so I have it on hand for sweetening drinks.
You can use a stevia blend to make a stevia simple syrup, or you can opt for using regular old sugar. Either way will make you a syrup to balance out the tartness of the cranberry flavor.
Bourbon – Ok, let’s talk about the bourbon. Bourbon is a type of American whiskey and is the most common version of American whiskey.
As you’ll be mixing the bourbon in with other flavors and not drinking a Whiskey Neat, you don’t have to go crazy top-shelf here. But of course, you don’t want to go super cheap. Good ole middle ground whiskey is just fine. Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek will do you well here.
Cranberry Juice – This is what takes your classic whiskey sour and turns it into a holiday favorite.
Be sure you’re getting unsweetened, and not the cranberry cocktail juice that has a ton of added sugar. If that’s all you can find, just halve the amount of simple syrup you add to each drink.
Orange Liqueur – A classic whiskey sour recipe has a lemon base, so adding in a citrus element with the orange liqueur is a necessity in making this cocktail. Triple Sec is something we always have on hand for making delicious cocktails.
These are the simple main ingredients you’ll need to make the best whiskey sour recipe with a fun holiday twist.
Now let’s put it all together!
How to make a Cranberry Whiskey Sour
- Add the stevia powder (or sugar) and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sweetener and remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature. If serving a crowd, I would make quite a bit of this. All you need is equal parts sweetener to water, and you’re good to go.
- Add the bourbon whiskey, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and 1 ounce simple syrup to a small low-ball glass.
- Add a handful of crushed ice, and stir together.
- Top with any garnishes you like. A typical Whiskey Sour is garnished with a slice of orange or lemon and a maraschino cherry. With this holiday version, I love adding sugared cranberries and rosemary to a holiday drink. Or a simple cinnamon stick for warmth and spice.
Make-Ahead Entertaining Tips
Make the Simple Syrup – You’ll definitely want to make this up a day or 2 ahead of time. One less thing to do while prepping for the party, and really you should always have simple syrup on hand for sweetening those drinks.
Don’t forget the ice! – You have to remember the bag of crushed ice for your party. That always seems to be the one thing we always forget but always need.
Put glasses in the freezer – Grab your low-ball clear plastic cups (you know – for less dishes you have to wash), and throw them in the freezer an hour or two before everyone comes over. Nice and frosty glasses to add to the festive beverage (of course with a cocktail napkin to keep hands warm)!
Looking for more Whiskey Drinks?
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- 1/4 cup stevia powder (see notes)
- 1/4 cup water
Cranberry Whiskey Sour
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1 ounce orange liqueur
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- crushed ice
- sugared cranberries
- cinnamon sticks
- fresh rosemary
- Add the stevia powder and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and then remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature.
- Add the bourbon, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and 1 ounce simple syrup to a small low-ball glass. Add a handful of crushed ice, and stir.
- Top with any garnishes you like.
- If your cranberry juice is sweetened, reduce simple syrup to 1/2 ounce.
- You can make the simple syrup ahead of time, days in advance even.
- Feel free to use regular granulated sugar in place of the stevia if you'd like.