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Christmas Cranberries

Bourbon adds bite to this holiday standby, packed in a small heavy-duty glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. Wrap in a vintage tea towel or cloth napkin, cinch with ribbon and adorn with small ornaments. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Process: 15 min.
  • Makes
    4 half-pints


  • 2 packages (12 ounces each) fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest


  • In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and bourbon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until berries pop and mixture has thickened, 18-22 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and orange zest. Ladle hot mixture into 4 hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  • Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Editor's Note
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 54 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 13g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 0 protein.

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  • Lady Fingers
    Nov 24, 2015

    I just made a 1/3 portion of this recipe -- perfect for a small household. 8 ounces of berries, 1/2 cup of sugar, juice and zest of a clementine, and a tablespoon of bourbon. It nicely fills an 8 ounce jelly jar, and tastes wonderful!

  • JudyMille
    Jan 20, 2013

    I prepared this and gave some to my friends as gifts. They were so impressed and requested that I make more!

  • jmh_cats
    Nov 26, 2011

    I just made this recipe. I did a double batch, and it worked great. It made 20 1/2-cup jars (ndividual servings). It tastes great and cooks so long that the alcohol must mostly evaporate. I made the recipe as given--no changes except the doubling.

  • Shawn Morgan
    Nov 23, 2011


  • JADunn
    Nov 16, 2011

    I am excited to try this recipe for holiday giving and have loaded it into my Taste of Home Recipe box, but don't want to use the bourbon, here is the substitution I plan to use:For ¼ cup bourbon, substitute: ¼ cup Sparkling apple cider; sparkling cranberry juice; or sparkling grape juice. These are non-alcoholic but carbonated, non-carbonated would work also!