Seize the Summer

Serve Cranberry Old-Fashioned for Cocktails

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

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I’m guessing that your Thanksgiving menus are locked down. I’m a bit of a planner so for me it’s mostly set, though I do have some wiggle room on cocktails and side dishes. This is a crowd please and for the most part, it’ll probably use up some leftover cranberries you have in the fridge. It’s a simple thing to throw together as guests arrive. I say put them to work and get one person on drinks. If you’d really like to, you could make this a big batch by scaling up the ratios. I’d recommend leave the ice could and just pour it over ice as people begin to trickle in.

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

Regardless, this drink packs a bit of a punch. It’s strong and celebrates rye whiskey or bourbon. It plays off the sweetness from the bourbon and adds a sweet acidity.


Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

Cranberry Old-Fashioned

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

Make Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe for Thanksgiving happy hour. (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of the Fresh Tastes blog)



  • For the Cranberry Syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, plus more as garnish
  • Pinch of salt
  • Splash of water
  • For the Drink:
  • Angostura bitters
  • Bourbon of choice
  • Ice
  • Orange peel, as garnish


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat and add the sugar, fresh cranberries, pinch of salt and splash of water. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until cranberries have softened and turned into a sauce. Using a spatula, press the cranberries down, until very soft. Run the mixture through a strainer and discard the pulp. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. 
  2. To make the cocktail, add about 3 liquid ounces of syrup to each glass. Add two dashes of bitters, 2 liquid ounces bourbon, a splash of sparkling water and ice. Stir until combined, and garnish with an orange peel. Repeat the process until all the other cocktails are assembled.

Adrianna Adarme - PBS Food Fresh Tastes BloggerAdrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.