This Cranberry Whiskey Sour is made with homemade cranberry simple syrup, oranges, lemons, limes, cranberry juice and whiskey.
This is one of my favorite drinks to make every Thanksgiving, although let’s be real it works for most days. I like to garnish with orange slices and rosemary sprigs. This easy cocktail is perfectly balanced, amazingly tart, and so easy to make. This recipe requires making cranberry simple syrup using maple syrup and fresh cranberries.
You can drink this for a nice brunch or evening cocktails. Whiskey is one of my favorite spirits and I usually don’t order an overly sweet cocktail as, let’s face it, causes my worst hangovers. This is only sweetened with maple syrup, and being a natural sweetener, I feel great the next day!
Cranberry Whiskey Sour Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Maple syrup
- Fresh cranberries
- Lemon juice
- Lime juice
- Cranberry juice
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Cranberry Whiskey Sour
In a medium pot, bring ½ cup water, the maple syrup and cranberries to boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes, until the cranberries begin to burst.
Then remove and stir in the orange zest. Add additional water if next to be thinner. In a jar, add the cranberry simple syrup.
Add in the lemon juice, cranberry juice and stir.
Add ice into small whiskey glasses and serve. Garnish with orange slices.
- Maple Syrup: You can use maple syrup or simple syrup. You can make simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar.
- Cranberries: The cranberries need to be fresh to make the cranberry simple syrup.
- Orange: You will need a fresh orange for its zest and to garnish.
- Lemon Juice: For best taste, use the juice from fresh lemons, although you can use store bought lemon juice.
- Lime juice: For best taste, use the juice from fresh limes, although you can use store bought lime juice.
- Cranberry Juice: You need to use 100% cranberry juice, do not opt for cranberry juice cocktail.
Cranberry Whiskey Sour Variations
Here are some variations on the classic cranberry whiskey sour recipe:
- Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour: Add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the jar before mixing to create a warm and cozy spiced version of the cocktail.
- Ginger Cranberry Whiskey Sour: Muddle a few slices of fresh ginger in the bottom of the jar before adding the other ingredients. This will give the cocktail a slightly spicy kick.
- Orange Cranberry Whiskey Sour: Add a splash of orange juice to the jar for a citrusy twist on the classic recipe.
Overall, the cranberry whiskey sour is a versatile cocktail that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your perfect version of this classic cocktail!
If you love this drink, feel free to try my Spiked Lemonade.
- Jigger: A jigger is a measuring tool that is used to ensure the correct proportions of ingredients are added to the shaker.
- Citrus juicer: A citrus juicer is used to extract fresh lemon juice for the cocktail.
- Ice: Ice is necessary for chilling the cocktail and creating the right texture.
- Glassware: A rocks glass or a double old fashioned glass is the most common glassware for serving a whiskey sour.
Overall, these are the essential equipment you'll need to make a delicious cranberry whiskey sour at home. If you don't have a cocktail shaker or strainer, you can use a mason jar with a lid or a fine mesh strainer as a substitute.
How to store a Cranberry Whiskey Sour
Cocktails are best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftover cranberry whiskey sour that you'd like to store for later, here's how to do it:
- Pour the cocktail into an airtight container: You can use a clean glass jar or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Store in the refrigerator: Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
- Shake or stir before serving: When you're ready to enjoy your leftover cocktail, give it a good shake or stir to mix all the ingredients together again.
Note that the longer the cocktail sits, the more the flavors will meld together and the texture may change slightly. However, storing the cocktail in the refrigerator can be a good way to enjoy it later without having to make a fresh one from scratch.
Cranberry Whiskey Sour Top tips
- Use fresh ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh lemon juice and cranberries. Avoid using bottled juices, as they may contain added preservatives and artificial flavors.
- Adjust the sweetness: The amount of cranberry simple syrup you add to the cocktail is a matter of personal preference. Taste the mixture and add more or less simple syrup depending on your taste buds.
- Garnish with cranberries and lemon wedges: A final touch of garnish adds a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor to your cocktail. You can also experiment with other garnishes like rosemary sprigs or cinnamon sticks.
- Experiment with different whiskeys: Try using different types of whiskey, like bourbon or rye, to create different variations of the cocktail. Each type of whiskey will bring its own unique flavor profile to the drink.
- Don't be afraid to customize: If you prefer a sweeter or more tart cocktail, feel free to adjust the amount of cranberry simple syrup or lemon juice accordingly. Remember, the beauty of making cocktails is that you can adjust them to suit your taste preferences.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove