Boozy Cranberry & Orange Sauce

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This boozy cranberry & orange sauce is full of fresh fruit & nutty sherry. It’s quick, easy, slightly sweet & perfect for festive cooking!

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boozy cranberry & orange sauce

If you want to take your roast turkey (or chicken) to the next level then a decent, homemade cranberry sauce is a must!

This recipe takes fresh cranberries, oranges & sherry and turns them into the perfect roast dinner accompaniment. It’s boozy, slightly sweet and bursting full of fresh fruit! Plus it’s quick & easy to make…

If you’re looking for ways to use up leftover cranberry sauce, I’d recommend taking a look at my brie & cranberry stuffed dough balls. They’re insanely good!

Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Sauce!

  • Quick & easy to make – This sauce takes less than 30 minutes to make!
  • Full of flavour – We’re making our cranberry sauce with oranges, sherry & vanilla.
  • Can be made with or without alcohol This recipe can be made with a different alcohol or it can be left out completely.
  • The best texture – By removing the cooked cranberries before reducing the sauce, we avoid overcooking them.

What You’ll Need

  • Cranberries
    For best results, I’d recommend using fresh cranberries but frozen can also be used. Make sure to defrost them fully before using.
  • Oranges
    For this recipe, we need the zest & juice of 2 large oranges. Feel free to use 1 orange if you’d prefer a more subtle orange flavour.
  • Sugar
    We’re using caster sugar for our cranberry sauce. Just enough is added to take the tartness away from the cranberries but not enough to make it overly sweet.
  • Salt
    A small amount of sea salt improves the flavour of our sauce.
  • Butter
    Stirring butter into our sauce at the end gives it a nice, glossy finish.
  • Sherry
    The boozy part of this cranberry sauce. We’re using sherry for it’s fruity, nutty flavour but feel free to use a different alcohol instead. Port would be a good substitute. Alternatively, leave the alcohol out & replace it with orange or cranberry juice.
  • Vanilla Paste
    A small amount of good quality vanilla paste adds a touch of sweetness & extra flavour to our cranberries.
fresh cranberries & orange zest

How To Make Boozy Cranberry & Orange Sauce

The full, printable recipe card for this cranberry sauce can be found at the bottom of this post!

Step 1 – Cook Cranberries

The first step for our sauce, is to place the cranberries, orange zest, sugar & salt into a large saucepan.

We then place the pan over a low heat & cook, stirring regularly, until the sugar has dissolved & the cranberries are cooked. They should be soft but still hold their shape. Some will have burst, this is totally fine!

cranberries and sugar

Step 2 – Remove Cranberries From The Sauce

Once the cranberries are cooked, we remove them from the sauce, using a slotted spoon then place them into a bowl & set aside.

Step 3 – Thicken The Sauce

Now the cranberries have been removed, it’s time to thicken the sauce. To do this, we turn the heat up to medium-high & reduce the juice by half. This will take around 5 minutes. Don’t worry if the sauce looks a little thick, it will thin out when we add in the sherry.

Next, we take the pan off the heat, stir in the butter then leave it to cool slightly.

cranberry juice
Reducing the cranberry juice…

Step 4 – Finish The Sauce

Next, we stir in the sherry & vanilla paste then add the cranberries back in. A quick mix brings the sauce all together then we leave it to cool before serving.

boozy cranberry & orange sauce

What To Serve Cranberry Sauce With

Our boozy cranberry & orange sauce is the perfect accompaniment to Christmas/Thanksgiving roast turkey, as well as a classic roast chicken. It also works fantastically with…

  • Brie – In a sandwich or in my brie & cranberry stuffed dough balls.
  • Baking – Cranberry sauce can be used in cakes, muffins & bars.
  • Meat – This sauce would work great with meatballs or leftover pigs in blankets!
  • Desserts – Cranberries would work well in a rice pudding or in a bread & butter pudding.

Have you got a favourite way to use leftover cranberry sauce? Let us know in the comments below!

Cooking Cranberry Sauce On An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for regular gas/electric stoves & also Agas.

To cook cranberry sauce on an Aga, cook the cranberries on the simmering plate & reduce the juice on the boiling plate.

Equipment Used

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Boozy Cranberry & Orange Sauce

This boozy cranberry & orange sauce is full of fresh fruit & nutty sherry. It's quick, easy, slightly sweet & perfect for festive cooking!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine: English
Servings: 1 Large Jar
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • Juicer
  • Microplane/Grater
  • Slotted Spoon

Ingredients

  • 600 g Fresh Cranberries See Notes
  • 250 g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Oranges, Zest & Juice
  • ¼ tsp Maldon Salt
  • 20 g Unsalted Butter
  • 50 ml Sherry
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Paste

Instructions

  • Place the cranberries into a large saucepan along with the sugar, orange (zest & juice) & salt then set over a low heat.
  • Cook, stirring regularly, until the sugar has dissolved & the cranberries are soft but still hold their shape (some will have burst, this is totally fine!).
    This will take roughly 5 minutes.
  • Next, remove the cranberries from the pan, using a slotted spoon then transfer them into a bowl. Set aside.
    Make sure to leave as much liquid in the pan as possible.
  • Place the pan of juice over a medium-high heat, bring to the boil then reduce by half. This will take around 5 minutes.
    Don't worry if the sauce looks a little thick, it will thin out when we add the sherry.
  • Once reduced, take the pan off the heat & stir in the butter. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then stir in the sherry & vanilla paste.
  • Return the cranberries to the sauce, stir to combine then leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer the sauce into a large jar/container then serve immediately or store in the fridge.

Notes

1. Cooking On An Aga – Cook the cranberries on the simmering plate then reduce the juice on the boiling plate.
2. Cranberries – For best results, I’d recommend using fresh cranberries but frozen ones will work as well. If you’re using fresh, make sure to give them a good wash first. If you’re using frozen cranberries, defrost them fully before cooking.
3. Storage – Cranberry sauce should be kept in the fridge & be eaten within a week of being made. Alternatively, store it in the freezer for several months.
4. Alcohol – Feel free to swap out the sherry for a different alcohol. Port would be a good alternative! If you’d prefer to make this sauce alcohol free, swap the sherry for orange or cranberry juice.

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