Cognac Cranberry Sauce

I can’t believe it, Thanksgiving is just one day away! And if you’re stressing about pulling together last minute details, or what you’re going to bring to the multiple dinners, take a deep breath. Not only is this recipe a breeze, but it will make you – and others at the Turkey Day table — smile.

If you’re bringing a dish to an uptight gathering — I’m sorry that stinks, but smile to yourself as others indulge without knowing the condiment’s spiked origins. On the other hand, if your Thanksgiving company is of the rowdy breed, or at least open to toasting the day, nothing will revive interest in a Thanksgiving staple like telling them the Cranberry Sauce is boozified (shout-out here to my mom. Thanks for being super excited about having Spiked Cranberry Sauce at our table).

Here’s where I have to be honest – I’ve never been a big fan of cranberry sauce. My goal here was to kill two birds with one stone: make something blog worthy that I would help fulfill my contribution to the family dinner. But I’ve been converted. This stuff will definitely be going on my turkey. And possibly on some vanilla ice-cream at some point. When dinner is over I may try to lick the bowl before it heads to the dishwasher.

But enough raving. You’re busy with last minute runs to the grocery store, keeping the kids occupied while you try to cook and double checking your to-do list, so there’s no time to go on and on about how good this stuff is …

But there is time for a suggestion. Since you’re going to be in the liquor cabinet anyway, go ahead and grab the Cointreau (or if you don’t have it, Triple Sec). After you toss all the ingredients together in the pot you’ll have a few minutes to spare before they start to boil and you have to stir. So why not make yourself a classic cognac cocktail, The Sidecar, while you wait.


Thru The Cooking Glass: Cognac Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need (Makes approx. 16 oz of sauce):

1 bag of whole cranberries

¼ cup Cognac (I used Hennessy)

¾ cup orange juice

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of All Spice


If you’re going to make a cocktail to sip while you stir:

The Sidecar

2 oz. Cognac
1 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Cracked ice
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: sugared rim (optional)
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.


To make Cognac Cranberry Sauce:

  • 1 Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then stir and reduce to a simmer.IMG_0385
  • 2 Cook mixture uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and sauce thickens, about 15-20 minutes.
  • 3 Remove mixture from heat and pour into serving bowl. Cool completely before serving.Spiking the Cranberry Sauce: Cooking with Cognac