Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce- Putting Up with ErinVanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce- Putting Up with Erin

Waking up locked in a cranberry bog was something I never expected to scratch off my “done it” list, but thanks to hectic & rainy trip out to the Cape last month, I can say it’s been done. While it makes for a pretty awesome story (obviously), our intentions (honestly) were not to sleep in a bog. As with most of our sporadic trips, we started driving south with no resting place in mind. Navigator Erin to the rescue! Or so we thought… I thought I had found a cheap’ish, no minimum night stay campground to pitch a tent at, but alas by the time we arrived, the gates were already closed and our next best option was sneaking down a dark dirt road with the hopes of no one kicking us out during our slumber. The best part about arriving somewhere after the sun goes down is waking up the next morning and thinking “WOW, look where we landed… a freaking cranberry bog!!” Had it not been for our little oops moment, I wouldn’t have known that cranberries 1) were grown in bogs, and 2) grown on Cape Cod.

Last November I successfully made my first really GOOD cranberry sauce. Much like this recipe, it was booze infuzed (ruby red port) which led to a fun evening… “the recipe only calls for a cup and a half of booze… what to do with the rest of it…”. I’ve already talked about my opinions of girls drinking whiskey (badass) so I won’t get into it here, but I had half a bottle of bourbon let over after the honey bourbon mustard I made earlier this week. With 5lbs of local Maine cranberries from Sugar Hill Cranberry Co, I figured it was time to get going on this year’s cranberry creations.

Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce- Putting Up with ErinVanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce- Putting Up with Erin

Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 4-5 pints


  • 9 cups fresh organic cranberries
  • 3 medium apples ( peeled, cored, and sliced)
  • 1 medium orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 madagascar vanilla beans (seeds (optional) and beans)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 star anise flowers
  • 1-1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water


  1. In a large-sized, non-reactive pot bring vinegar, water, orange juice, vanilla beans and seeds (optional), and sugar to a boil.
  2. Put star anise flowers in a tea bag/ball or cheesecloth bag. Add spice bag, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, and ginger to sugar mixture. Return to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Add sliced apples then cook on low heat for until apples are tender. Add cranberries and whiskey. Stirring occasionally cook for 10-15 minutes until cranberries begin to pop and desired consistency is reached (depending on your preference you can use the back of a spoon to crush berries for a smoother consistency).
  4. Remove vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and spice bag.
  5. Fill jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight) then process jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remove canner from heat and et jars sit in uncovered pot for an additional 5 minutes (this will help prevent siphoning). Remove jars from canner, let cool on towel or rack for 12-24 hours.
  6. Store jars in a cool dry place. Shelf stable for up to 1 year.

5 responses to Vanilla Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

  1. would love it if you could use amounts measured as sizes of ingredients such as apples, oranges, onions, etc., can vary so much. new to your blog and LOVE IT!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *