The holidays are a perfect time to make this homemade Cranberry Orange Liqueur recipe.
You can enjoy it as an after-dinner sip, or mix it with Champagne to make a Cranberry Orange Champagne cocktail.
This liqueur is quick to make because it takes just about 30-minutes to prepare and only needs 2 weeks to “marinate” in the refrigerator. This beauty also makes a great gift!
Cranberry Orange Liqueur is gorgeous to look at and even better to drink! It has a hint of cinnamon so it’s perfect for the holidays. Maybe you have some beautiful old sherry or cordial glasses hiding in the back of your china cabinet? Time to get those out and serve this liqueur!
Prepare ingredients for Cranberry Orange Liqueur:
Easy step by step instructions:
Step by step instructions makes this recipe really easy. You will need to strain this recipe twice when you make it and once again after it is marinated, so be sure to have a fine woven strainer available, or cheesecloth.
Step 1: Combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest in a deep heavy pan.
Step 2: Bring everything to a boil and continue boiling until cranberries pop or burst open.
Step 3: Blend everything until smooth. We use an immersion blender but you’ll get the same results in a regular blender. Use caution if using a regular blender because the liquid is super hot and will expand in the blender.
Straining the Cranberry Orange Liqueur
There are 2 steps in the straining process:
Step 4: STRAIN #1 – Pour blended mixture through a strainer, into a clean bowl, pushing with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid and flavor as possible. Discard the leftover cranberry skins in the strainer.
Step 5: STRAIN #2 – Repeat straining method into a clean bowl, but use a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth this time. Discard the remaining skins.
Step 6: Add vodka and cinnamon and whisk to combine
Step 7: Pour into a decanter or jar and seal tightly
Step 8: Refrigerate for about 2 weeks. Shaking occasionally
Step 9: Decant into smaller gift bottles if desired. We love this style bottle but there are many choices out there.
Serving Cranberry Orange Liqueur
After two weeks the liqueur will be ready to use. If you want a super smooth liqueur you can strain a third time.
This is a liqueur and is meant as a small drink after dinner or as an aperitif, so you will want to pour just about 2-3 ounces for sipping. We have a weakness for beautiful cordial or sherry glasses. If you don’t have any try these beautiful glasses from Amazon.
Not as big a fan of the Cran? Try cherries!
If you need something just a little sweeter try substituting half of the cranberries for cherries (I did it with frozen, because cherries aren’t in season). This version is a little sweeter and I omitted the cinnamon, however, everything else is the same as the recipe below.
Making a Cranberry Orange Champagne Cocktail
This liqueur makes a great base for any cocktail but our favorite is the Cranberry Orange Champagne Cocktail. It’s a beautiful and festive drink!
We like to coat the rim of our cocktail glass with a bit of orange juice and then dip it in sugar. Shake the liqueur with ice in a martini shaker, pour into the glass and top with Champagne. Cut a thin orange slice for a garnish or drop in a few cranberries!
A special thanks to our guest chef: Deb Hoage
Deb was kind enough to share this amazing recipe with us. And, to top it off the entire recipe is Gluten-Free!
Cranberry Orange Liqueur
- Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth, immersion blender or regular blender
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest, freshly grated
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups vodka
For Champagne Cocktail
- 4 oz champagne
- 2 Tbsp cranberry liqueur
- In a large deep pan combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Bring to a boil.Continue gently boiling for about 6-8 minutes, or until the cranberries have popped open. Remove from the heat.
- Blend the cranberries with an immersion blender until smooth. Or place in a regular blender, being cautious as hot liquid will rise when blended.
- STRAIN #1 – Pour through a strainer into a bowl, pushing the mixture down with a rubber spatula. There will be cranberry skins left in the strainer. Discard the skins.
- STRAIN #2 – Pour the strained mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with cheesecloth, into a clean bowl. Again push the mixture down with a rubber spatula and discard the skins.
- Add the vodka and cinnamon to the strained mixture and whisk until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into a decanter or a jar with a lid and seal tightly.
- Refrigerate for about 2 weeks. Shake occasionally
- If desired, strain one more time before serving.
To make a Cranberry Orange Champagne Cocktail
- Run a sliced orange segment around the rim of a champagne or martini glass and then dip the rim in sugar to coat the rim.
- In a cocktail shaker add 2 tablespoons cranberry liqueur and crushed ice. Shake well.
- Pour shaken liqueur into a martini or champagne glass and top with champagne. Garnish with an orange slice or a few cranberries, if desired.
Variation: Cherry Cranberry Liqueur
- Substitute 2 cups cranberries and use 1 cup cherries and 1 cup cranberries
- Omit cinnamon