DIY Cranberry Liqueur Recipe

Photograph: Marcia Simmons

When life gives you cranberries—which it always does this time of year—make cranberry liqueur. This bright red, tart liqueur can keep you in festive cocktails from Thanksgiving to Christmas and beyond.

Notes: Lemon zest can be substituted for the orange zest. An immersion blender is the quickest way to break up the cranberries, but if you don't have one you can use a regular blender, food processor, or even mash by hand with a fork.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 16 servings
Makes: 2 cups

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  • 1 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • Zest of half an orange (without pith)

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

  • 1 1/2 cups vodka


  1. Bring the sugar, water, orange zest, and cranberries to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until cranberries start to burst, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  2. Use the immersion blender to roughly break up the cranberries just enough so that the juice is release yet the mixture remains chunky. Pour into a sealable glass jar along with the vodka and shake. Let steep at room temperature for 2 days, then sample and continue to steep until you're happy with the flavor.

  3. Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth, pressing down to extract as much liquid as possible. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Special Equipment

Immersion blender, fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
98 Calories
0g Fat
13g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 98
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)