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This cranberry bourbon sour is a fruity and festive spin on a classic cocktail. It's made with 100% cranberry juice which gives it a naturally sweet-tart taste and a ruby red hue. It's perfect for the holidays, and it's ready in just 5 minutes!
This cranberry bourbon sour tastes like a classic drink, but with a fruity seasonal twist. It has the familiar sweet-tart taste of a sour but this version finishes clean and crisp. Its striking gem-toned color makes it a great choice for a signature drink around the holidays.
The sourness of this cocktail comes from cranberry juice and a little lime juice. To sweeten things up just a touch, we add triple sec and maple syrup.
Making a cranberry bourbon sour is super easy. Simply stir the ingredients with ice, then strain it into a glass. To finish it off, we garnish it with an aromatic sprig of rosemary and a skewer of cranberries. Mix up a round of cranberry bourbon sours this holiday season, and let the festivities begin!
What's in a cranberry bourbon sour?
You only need five ingredients to make this refreshing bourbon cranberry sour. Here's everything you need:
- Bourbon – save your fancy stuff because a decent quality bourbon will make a nice cocktail.
- Triple sec – this dry orange-flavored liqueur adds a strong citrus taste that plays so well with the other ingredients.
- Cranberry juice – the sourness in this recipe comes from cranberry juice, so it's important to use 100% cranberry juice and not cranberry cocktail. If you use cranberry cocktail, reduce the sweetener and add more lime juice.
- Lime juice – only fresh lime juice will do!
- Maple Syrup – this sweetener gives the bourbon sour a warm and wintery taste. You can also use agave nectar or simple syrup instead.
- Cranberries and rosemary – some fresh cranberries and a sprig of rosemary, for garnish.
What is the difference between cranberry juice and cranberry cocktail?
The difference between cranberry juice and cranberry cocktail is in the ingredients. Cranberry juice is 100% unsweetened cranberry juice so it's clean, crisp, and tart. Cranberry cocktail on the other hand is made from concentrate and contains added sugars, making it much sweeter.
How to make a cranberry bourbon sour
A bourbon cranberry sour is a refreshing sour cocktail with a fruity taste and festive feel. Here's how to make it in a couple of easy steps:
- Mix the bourbon, triple sec, cranberry, lime juice, and maple syrup together with ice until cold.
- Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and cranberries. So easy!
When to serve a cranberry bourbon sour
There's something about bright little red berries that gives us a holiday feel. This cranberry bourbon sour is a wonderful signature cocktail for Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining, or for sipping on all winter long.
That said, if you love bourbon cocktails and the tart taste of cranberry, you'll enjoy this clean-tasting cocktail any time of year!
Can I use cranberry cocktail?
This recipe is made with strong and sour-tasting cranberry juice. If you have cranberry cocktail on hand and want to use it, you'll need to adjust the recipe. Add lemon or lime juice for the sour flavor and reduce the amount of maple syrup (since cranberry cocktail is quite sweet).
It's a bit too tart for my taste. How do I make it sweeter?
To make a sweeter version of this cocktail add more maple syrup. Or you can also add simple syrup honey simple syrup to taste.
Do I need an egg white?
Most classic bourbon sour recipes use an egg white or cocktail foamer to give it a foamy top. We chose not to use it for this version. If you'd like to add an egg white or cocktail foamer, shake the ingredients in a shaker until foamy then strain into a glass.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1 ounce triple sec
- 1 ounce cranberry juice (not cranberry cocktail – see notes)
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce maple syrup
- Cranberries and rosemary (to serve)
- Add a handful of ice to a cocktail mixer then add the bourbon, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime juice, and maple syrup. Stir it until it's cold.2 ounces bourbon, 1 ounce triple sec, 1 ounce cranberry juice, ½ ounce lime juice, ½ ounce maple syrup
- Add ice to a glass then strain your cranberry bourbon sour into the glass. Garnish with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary.Cranberries and rosemary
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.