This Bourbon Cranberry Spice Cocktail is the holiday season all in one glass. Cranberries, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, and a well-balanced bourbon marry together to bring you all the warmth on a cold fall or winter night. I was given the opportunity to make a cocktail inspired by Noble Oak Bourbon and landed on pairing it with spiced simple syrup. The best part about making the simple syrup at home is that it’s multi-purpose. You’ll see what I mean!
What is a simple syrup exactly?
A ratio of sugar and water boiled together. The end result is a syrup that can be used to sweeten a cocktail. That’s basically it. Most simple syrups call for equal parts of sugar and water (1 cup of each). I prefer my syrups to have a richer consistency, so I typically use a ratio of 2:1 with less water. Fruits, spices, herbs, and endless ingredients can be added to the mix to create flavored syrups.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the scents. There’s nothing like your house smelling like cinnamon, cranberry, ginger, etc. Even the way cranberries look just screams Christmas to me. So I literally threw those things into a pot to make a simple syrup for the Bourbon Cranberry Spice cocktail.
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- ¾ cup water
- 1 tsp clove
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 orange peels
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3-4 rosemary sprigs
Bring spices, cranberries, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar until fully dissolved. Add in rosemary sprigs. Lower heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes until cranberries soften. Use the back of a spoon to mash cranberries. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain into a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Bourbon Cranberry Spice Cocktail
- 2 oz Cranberry Spiced Syrup
- 1 oz Bourbon
- ½ oz Lemon juice
- Ginger ale (to top)
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake to chill. This should take about 10 seconds. Pour into a glass. Add ice, then top with ginger ale. Cheers!
Note: The leftover cranberries can be repurposed for cranberry sauce, preserves, etc. It tastes AMAZING, so I highly recommend doing so!
Try this Peach Bourbon Smash next!