Cranberry Old-Fashioned Recipe | Fresh Tastes Blog | PBS Food

Serve Cranberry Old-Fashioned for Cocktails

Cranberry Old-Fashioned recipe

Editor’s note: This cocktail was originally developed for Thanksgiving weekend, but we find it works all through the holiday season. Its fun, festive and seasonal. Enjoy!

Follow PBS Food on Pinterest

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



  • 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.

You Might Also Like

Getting Hungry?

Sign up for weekly recipes