This cranberry orange whiskey sour is a tasty spin on the classic cocktail! Cranberry juice adds a tart fruity finish to the drink.
Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour
Here’s a spin on the classic whiskey sour that will have everyone talking: try this cranberry orange whiskey sour! This fruity combination is perfect for winter and fall cocktails, or if you’re looking to use extra cranberry juice. The bright berries add a fruity, tart intensity to the finish of each sip. Paired with bourbon, fresh orange and lemon juice, and maple syrup, it makes the best signature drink!
Cranberry orange whiskey sour ingredients
This cranberry orange whiskey sour is a play on the Whiskey Sour, an iconic drink that goes back centuries. The earliest mention of the drink in literature was in the 1870’s, meaning this cocktail existed much before most classic cocktails that appeared in the 1910’s and 20’s.
- Whiskey (we prefer bourbon for a cranberry bourbon sour)
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice
- Fresh lemon juice
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Simple syrup or maple syrup
- Orange wheel or twist, cocktail cherry or cranberries, for garnish
Sweetened vs unsweetened cranberry juice
For cranberry cocktails, we prefer using unsweetened cranberry juice instead of cranberry juice cocktail, which is sweetened. Because it’s a small quantity of cranberry juice (¾ ounce), you can use either here. If all you can find is the sweetened version, it will make for a slightly sweeter drink.
- Sweetened cranberry juice aka cranberry juice cocktail, has added sugars and sometimes high-fructose corn syrup as sweetener. It is the type used for classic cranberry cocktails of the past, like the Vodka Cranberry.
- 100% cranberry juice is easy to find at your local grocery store. The benefit? The color is brighter, and you can sweeten your drink to taste.
Egg white foam optional!
Bartenders have added egg whites to cocktails since the 1860’s to add a frothy texture to the top and a creamy rich flavor to each sip. It’s customary to have an egg white foam on a sour, so if you’d like you can add that to this cranberry orange whiskey sour! You can make the best frothy egg white foam using 1 egg white with the drink ingredients and a technique called a dry shake: shaking the cocktail ingredients without ice first. Here’s how it works:
- The first shake without ice lets the protein in the egg begin to form foam, instead of being diluted by the ice.
- The second shake with ice cools the drink and strengthens the foam. Strain it into the glass and you’ll get a thick, white frothy layer.
- Go to Whiskey Sour with Egg White for the full technique!
Step it up with clear ice
Want to make a professional-looking cranberry orange whiskey sour? Use clear ice. These large, crystal clear ice cubes make your drink look like it’s from a fancy bar, vs the cloudy ice cubes that come from an ice try. They’re perfect for stepping up this drink. Here’s how to do it:
- Make clear ice in a small cooler. Go to How to Make Clear Ice for instructions! The cooler just needs to fit inside your freezer.
- Use a clear ice tray. We use this clear ice tray and it works well! It also fits easily into your freezer.
This cranberry orange whiskey sour is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.
Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour
- 2 ounces whiskey we prefer bourbon
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice
- ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¾ ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup or maple syrup
- Clear ice for serving
- Orange wheel or twist cocktail cherry, cranberries or rosemary sprig, for garnish
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until very cold.
- Add ice to a lowball or Old Fashioned glass and strain the drink into the glass. Garnish with an orange slice, cocktail cherry or fresh cranberries, and rosemary sprig (if desired).