Cranberry, orange, and ginger are the ultimate holiday trio. Pair them with bourbon, and you have the ultimate holiday drink in this Cranberry Old Fashioned.
Cranberries get the spotlight during the holiday season, showing up everywhere from Thanksgiving tables to Christmas tree garland. And because the flavor pairs so well with so many spirits, cranberries are also featured in all kinds of drinks.
This cranberry bourbon cocktail skips the cinnamon sticks and dials up the simple syrup with a cranberry orange version that’s super easy to make.
It’s a spin on a classic cocktail that’ll have you making it an Old Fashioned Christmas with a Christmas Old Fashioned. Or rather, a Cranberry Old Fashioned. 😉
- Bourbon - Pick your favorite quality bourbon for this cocktail.
- Cranberry orange simple syrup - My favorite syrup to have on hand during the holidays, this homemade cranberry orange simple syrup takes 10 minutes to make and keeps in the fridge for weeks. Make it ahead of time to be ready for your cocktail hour.
- Ginger liqueur - Sweet ginger liqueur adds just the right amount of ginger flavor.
- Orange bitters - Balance out the sweetness in this old fashioned with orange bitters.
- Orange peel - A squeeze of orange oil fresh from the peel adds a lot of this cranberry old fashioned cocktail.
- Cranberries (for garnish) - Totally optional, but fun to add.
How to Make a Cranberry Old Fashioned
In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine bourbon, cranberry orange syrup, ginger liqueur and orange bitters.
Stir for 10-15 seconds to chill your drink.
Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
Garish with a twist of orange peel and fresh cranberries.
Sip and enjoy!
Make your own Cranberry Orange Syrup
You’ll want to make your cranberry orange syrup a few hours in advance of making your cocktail so you have time for it to chill. Get the recipe over on my Cranberry Orange Syrup recipe page.
FAQs and Substitutions
Your favorite bourbon will work great in this recipe. Don't have a favorite? New to bourbon? Try Bulleit Bourbon or Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Both are widely available in the U.S. and will be delicious in this cocktail.
If you don't have orange bitters on hand, you can use Aromatic Bitter instead. However, this will give the drink more of a spiced flavor.
Use a wide mouth, pint mason jar instead of a mixing glass! Set the flat lid of the mason jar slightly askew and hold it down firmly to pour your drink without a hawthorne strainer.