This Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail, made with orange and cranberry infused bourbon and kissed with hints of mint and lime, will remind you of a classic Old Fashioned, all dressed up in holiday-style!
‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la laaaaaa….
It’s blowing my mind that Christmas is in three days, guys.
I love the holidays, but I hate how fast they fly by! It feels like just yesterday, I was pulling pies out of the oven in a mad rush to get them done in time for Thanksgiving dinner, and now, here I am, trying to figure out how in the heck I’m going to get my presents wrapped and under the tree without Mr. Crumby seeing them. I’m running out of time! I just finished my shopping yesterday, and in spite of all my cookie baking in the last couple weeks, I still have desserts to bake for Christmas Eve!
I don’t know about you, but it’s about that time for me to take a deep breath, remember that Christmas is about joy and peace, and sit down to chill out with one of these fantastic Florida Bourbon Fizz cocktails.
Confession time, folks. Until I came up with this drink, I have never tried bourbon, or any sort of whiskey, for that matter. (Except in caramel sauce, but I don’t really think that counts.)
I know, I know. What kind of foodie has never tried Jack or Jim??
I’m a wino, and a wannabe craft beer connoisseur, not a shot drinker. I don’t call myself a bartender by any means, but when I was asked to do a review by Rizzi at Arctic Chill of their Stainless Cocktail Muddler, I became terribly motivated to be inventive with my liquor cabinet.
Trust me when I say that coming up this cocktail was a week-long process, which involved a lot of brain picking of other, more experienced mixed drink consumers. I can throw margaritas and sangrias together with no problem, because I’m working with liquors I know and enjoy. But bourbon? I had no idea where to begin. Is it bitter or sweet? Is it fruity or earthy? Can I mix it with juice, or is it an on the rocks only kind of drink?
After doing some bourbon research, I decided to just do a citrusy spin on a classic Old Fashioned. Once I figured out the flavors I wanted to attempt for my Florida Bourbon Fizz, I figured infusing the liquor would help create the sweeter, citrus flavor profile I was going for. I made some cranberry simple syrup, tossed it in a mason jar with some orange peel, filled it to the brim with Jim Beam, and let the stuff sit on my kitchen windowsill for a week.
It smelled amazing when I opened the mason jar, oh my goodness! I had a good feeling by that point, so I moved forward with whipping up the drink. And I knew it was going to involve the lovely bourbon soaked cranberries in that jar, along with some citrus and mint, for a holiday flair from down south.
The last time I muddled a cocktail, I used my marble pestle. It did the trick, but I had no idea about the world of bar accessories and muddlers, and how different types can be used in different ways.
I’m a simple girl, with very limited bar space – or like, no bar space. Give me a tool that’s multipurpose! Arctic Chill’s muddler is just that. It’s made from stainless steel, and features a grooved nylon head, which doesn’t pollute your drink, unlike wooden lacquered muddlers, nor will it chip your glassware.
Who wants lacquer in their cocktail, seriously.
It was perfect for muddling both the mint, as well as the citrus and cranberries in this drink, and was so easy to clean! Hit it with a soapy sponge and done.
If you like a nice bubble with your bourbon, I highly recommend using a Moscato di Asti or Prosecco to top it all off with. With the help of the fruit juice, it does a lovely job of balancing the biting flavor of the liquor.
And if you’re looking to add some new barware to your home, Arctic Chill might just have what you’re looking for.
All I need now is a matching cocktail shaker, and I’ll be able to fake being a pro behind my own bar.
More festive drinks and cocktails for your holiday celebrations!
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Orange Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
Orange Cranberry Bourbon
- 6 ounces fresh cranberries
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Peel of 1 orange
- 12 ounces bourbon
Florida Bourbon Fizz
- 3 mint leaves
- 2 lime wedges
- 3 orange wedges
- 4 cranberries from Orange Cranberry Bourbon jar
- 2 ounces Orange Cranberry Bourbon
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- 1 ounce fresh orange juice
- Ice cubes
- Moscato di Asti or Prosecco
Orange Cranberry Bourbon
- Combine cranberries, sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until cranberries start to burst and the mixture resembles a chunky simple syrup..
- Remove from heat and cool 30 minutes.
- Carefully remove the peel from an orange, removing as much of the pith (the spongy white membrane) as possible. (It’s OK to leave a little, as bourbon cocktails generally call for bitters; this one does not, so a little bitterness won’t hurt!)
- Add the bursting cranberry simple syrup and the orange peel to a 16 ounce mason jar. Fill jar to the top with bourbon, stir, and close.
- Set the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days to marinate before using. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor gets!
Florida Bourbon Fizz
- In a low ball glass, add mint leaves. Using your Arctic Chill muddler, press down and twist 3-4 times.
- Add the lime and orange wedges, and soaked cranberries, and repeat, muddling the fruit with a gentle twisting motion.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine Orange Cranberry Bourbon, cranberry juice, and fresh orange juice.
- Add desired amount of ice cubes to glass, then pour bourbon mixture over ice.
- Fill glass to top with Moscato di Asti, Prosecco, or your favorite sparkling wine.
- Garnish with orange and lime wedges and cranberries on a drink skewer, and enjoy!