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Front view of a christmas old fashioned garnished with cranberry and rosemary.

Christmas Old Fashioned

  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 cocktails 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This super simple Christmas Old Fashioned combines bourbon or whiskey with cranberry juice and a made-from-scratch spiced cranberry syrup. With an optional sugared cranberry garnish, this holiday cocktail looks as fantastic as it tastes.


Units Scale


  • 8 ounces bourbon or whiskey
  • 8 ounces cranberry juice (we used no sugar added)
  • 2 ounces cranberry simple syrup (recipe below)
  • Optional: a few dashes angostura bitters
  • Garnish: orange peel and/or sugared cranberries and rosemary

Cranberry Simple Syrup:

  • 1/3 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods


Cranberry Simple Syrup:

  1. Add cranberry juice and brown sugar to a small saucepan over high heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add in cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom pods. Once mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let the syrup sit for 40-45 minutes to absorb flavor from the spices and to cool. Strain/remove spices and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


  1. Fill a small pitcher or mixing glass 2/3 of the way with ice. Add bourbon, cranberry juice, simple syrup and bitters (if using) and stir well.
  2. Add a large block of ice to 4 cocktail glasses and strain the cocktail mixture into each glass.
  3. Garnish with orange peel, sugared cranberries (optional) and rosemary. 


Bourbon or whiskey? Bourbon is more traditional for an old fashioned, as the drink allegedly originated in Kentucky, a state famous for its bourbon. We suggest using bourbon in this recipe, but it will still be great with any whiskey variety. 

Bitters: Traditionally, an old fashioned contains angostura bitters. Add in a few drops to this Christmas Old Fashioned if you like the flavor. 

How to make sugared cranberries: Dissolve 1/4 cup of sugar in 1/4 cup of water. Add 1/3 cup of washed cranberries to sugar mixture. Using a slotted spoon, remove cranberries from the sugar mixture and lay on a baking rack to dry for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the cranberries are dry, they should be sticky. Roll in fine granulated sugar to coat thoroughly.

Make ahead: you can make the spiced cranberry simple syrup up to a few weeks before serving this Christmas Old Fashioned. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Shaker
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cocktail
  • Calories: 501
  • Sugar: 89.5 g
  • Sodium: 11.5 mg
  • Fat: 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 92.8 g
  • Fiber: 1.7 g
  • Protein: 0.3 g

Keywords: Christmas old fashioned, holiday old fashioned