Cranberry liqueur

Cranberry liqueur ~

I was visiting a friend one chilly morning. We were having a cup of tea, waiting for the sun to warm our path before we went out for our walk. As we were chatting about this and that, she told me of a delicious cranberry liqueur she had made and pulled out a bottle of the most beautiful red liquid. I was interested to know just what cranberry liqueur tasted like, wondering how this rather sharp fruit would lend itself to a liqueur. She asked if I wanted a little sample. I hesitated, only for a moment: It felt quite decedent, being a weekday and before noon, but I was terribly curios, so I said yes, I wanted to taste this elixir. It was at once tart, yet sweet enough without being cloyingly so. It was perfect on its own or could be paired with other ingredients for a cocktail. It was altogether delightful. My friend said it was easy to make and emailed me the link to the recipe.

The idea of gifting small bottles or jars of this pretty and tasty liqueur spurred me to action. On my way home I stopped to buy the cranberries and vodka. I borrowed some larger mason jars from my neighbor, gathered my ingredients, and set about making a batch straightaway.

It was extremely simple to make. The most difficult part was waiting the three weeks for the flavors to meld properly. Finally, it was time to strain out the cranberries.

I tasted the liqueur. It was good, but there was a slight bitterness that I wanted to tame. I added one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and two tablespoons of honey powder. That did the trick! The addition smoothed out the rough edges without adding any flavor. Next time I think I'll double the additions to keep a subtle layer of these flavors.

I decanted the liqueur into recycled bottles and jars, wrapped them up, and gifted them for the Holidays.

I like the cranberry liqueur straight up.You might also try adding some to a glass of champagne. My current favorite way to enjoy is with the addition of a few bourbon soaked, dried sour cherries. Just place about 1/4 cup of dried, sour cherries into a small container, cover with bourbon, and let them soak. I used Oregon Spirit Distiller's C.W. Irwin straight bourbon whiskey. It's a gold medal winning, "proud yet lively" whiskey, made right here in Bend, Oregon.

The bright, red color also lends itself to Valentine's Day. If you hurry, you can make a batch just in time for sharing.


  1. Looks delicious. Will have to try this!

    1. Let me know how it turns out; and your favorite way to enjoy it.

  2. Yum! I made some cranberry liquor for Christmas and it was so good. And like you said, the hardest part was waiting for the flavors to meld.

    1. Hi Lisa Marie ~ Did you come up with some fun combinations? Or did you like it best "neat"?