I can’t stop with the festive cocktails! They are so freaking fun to make and they make me so happy. These are so delicious and they’ll warm you right up. The spiced cranberry simple syrup is sooo good and I want to add it to everything!
The syrup is what makes these so delicious. And the bourbon of course. But the syrup! It’s made with fresh cranberries, star anise, whole allspice and cloves, and cinnamon sticks. It makes your house smell like the holidays and gives these cocktails the perfect amount of subtle spice.
The bourbon is strong, so you don’t get hit in the face with cinnamon and clove, but it’s definitely there. In the best way!
I also made sugared cranberries which are one of my favorite cocktail garnishes during the holidays. I mean, how pretty are they?!?!
They are so easy to make too. You just boil water and sugar like you’re making simple syrup, throw in your cranberries, and turn off the heat. Then you let them cool for an hour, and then roll them in sugar until they look like pretty little sparkly snow covered cranberries! Slightly obsessed.
I still added the regular stuff to these. A cherry, orange peel, and a big ice cube. They’re just extra special and enhanced with the cranberry syrup!
You could throw in a cinnamon stick for extra festive-ness too. I totally meant to but forgot. You’d get even more spice then!
The funny thing is, I’m not a big hard liquor person. Or drinker, really. Unless it’s tequila in a margarita or red wine! But I totally love an old fashioned if it’s super cold outside or if I’m in the mood for something a little heavier. I definitely think of them as more of a cozy winter drink. And now with the cranberry syrup even more!
Bourbon makes me think of my mom and grandma because they both love it. They’ve always been into bourbon and cokes for as long as I can remember, and these bourbon slushies that my aunt makes.
Totally making these for them!
Absolutely perfect for your Thanksgiving table! Or Thanksgiving happy hour with THIS.
- For the spiced cranberry SYRUP:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 star anise pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- For the sugared CRANBERRIES:
- ½ cup water
- 1½ cups sugar
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries (1 bag)
- For the OLD FASHIONED:
- 1 ounce spiced cranberry syrup
- 2 dashes cocktail bitters
- 2 ounces bourbon
- splash of club soda
- orange peel
- maraschino cherries
- sugared cranberries
- cinnamon sticks for garnish, optional
- Make the spiced cranberry syrup. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, sugar, cranberries, star anise, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves to a boil. Boil for 4-5 minutes, or until cranberries start to burst and the syrup is a rich red color. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, strain syrup through a fine mesh strainer and discard cranberries, star anise, cinnamon sticks, allspice, and clove. Syrup can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
- Make the sugared cranberries. Bring water and ½ cup of the sugar to a boil. Once boiling, stir for thirty seconds until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries. Stir until completely coated, then transfer to a wire rack to dry. Let dry for an hour, then roll in the remaining sugar, working in batches. Transfer back to the rack, and let dry for an additional hour. Store in a cool, dry place.
- To make the old fashioned, add an ice cube or two to your glass. (I have the big ice cube mold so I just used one). Add the cranberry syrup, the cocktail bitters, and the bourbon. Add a splash of club soda and stir. Finish with an orange twist, a maraschino cherry, a handful of sugared cranberries, and a cinnamon stick if desired. Serve!