Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Jalapeno Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee

Every Thanksgiving there is cranberry sauce on the table, but how often can you say you’ve MADE it? When isn’t it a great excuse to put bourbon and jalapeños in your cranberry sauce?

If you’re buying cranberry sauce for your table this week–make a change. This year, making cranberry sauce could not be easier or more delicious!

I’m going to run through both the canning and fridge recipes as they are quite similar. Biggest things needed for this recipe are a large dutch oven, a sieve (I prefer my food mill), a large bowl, some jars for storing, and a spatula. If you decide to can the sauce, you will need all the canning supplies in addition to the above list (we’re talking new lids, canning pot, and tongs!)

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee


  • 24oz fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 c orange juice from one orange (set aside rind for zesting)
  • 1/2-1 c brown sugar (will depend on tartness of cranberries)
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 Jalapeños, seeded
  • 4 oz bourbon



Combine cranberries, orange juice, bourbon, and generous amounts of zest into a large pot or dutch oven on medium heat. For zesting, you’ll need a microplane grater and will zest directly over the cranberries until most of the orange sheen is gone.

I prefer a pot/oven that has large surface area to ensure even cooking of the berries. for this project I use my 6QT dutch oven.

Meanwhile, dice the jalapeño, then incorporate into the pot. Before long, you will hear the cranberries popping–once most of the popping subsides, lower heat to a simmer and stir every five minutes or so until it resembles the below image.

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee

Once the finished look is achieved, add maple syrup and brown suger–take many tastes as you go! You may find that your berries are good to go after just the maple syrup–start there, and add the brown sugar a quarter cup at a time. Stir in until desolved before adding more. When your tastebuds rejoice, remove the sauce from heat and commence your milling! If using a food mill, insert the smallest grate into the bottom and stabilize on a large, steady bowl (I prefer in the sink), fill with a few ladles of sauce, and begin churning through.

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee

Note that not all of what you put into the mill is going to come out. You should be left with dryer skins, pulp, and possibly some remnants of jalapeño as well. This can be re-incorporated in small amounts at the end if you’re looking for more texture, or it can be discarded. In a food mill, it will find its way to the upper edges, so just continue adding more sauce to work through until you’re through the batch. Pat down the pulp and send through once more with a few churns and call it good! scrape the underside of the food mill into your bowl, stand back, and admire your work. That COLOR!!

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee

Now it’s like a Next Adventure book–if you’re interested in canning the mixture, read on, otherwise, skip down past the ***

I think canning this sauce is a splendid idea, and it’s very easy. Do decide ahead of time though, as you’ll want to have run a set of jars through the dishwasher just before finishing the batch of sauce.

Remember–hot (clean) jars, hot sauce (or whatever else you’re canning), and hot bath are the key to canning successfully. Check the temperature of your sauce–it should still be quite warm. Add that to the jars, stopping at the threading of the jar. Leave space or your jar may have issues sealing. Have your NEW LIDS (this is crucial for seal) in a boiling bath of water. Wipe the tops of your jars with some of the hot water, and pull your lids from their bath to top your jars. Seal with the rings, and submerge completely in a boiling bath in your canning pot for 10 minutes.

Once time is up, remove from bath, and set in a clean space you can leave them in for a while. Over the next 30 min or so as the jars cool, you should begin to hear popping of the lids, which will let you know that the seals took. I prefer not to disturb my cans for about 24 hours to ensure they’re settled. That’s it! Label the lids with name and canning date and set into your cabinet until needed. I would suggest consuming within 18 months.

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee


Ladle sauce into jars and seal. Refrigerate for up to 2 months without issue, but Lord knows you’ll be through it before the week is out! I love the sauce with some cheese and crackers (brie, Manchego, cream cheese, etc.) or atop some leftovers! Incorporate it into your turkey sandwich at the end of the week for some nice moisture and tang! What will you put it on?

Bourbon Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce | The Spicy Bee

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1 Comment

  • Reply The (New & Improved) Spicy BeeThe Spicy Bee December 21, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    […] I was also on the radio for the first time ever! I made my favorite GF cornbread stuffing and the bourbon jalapeño cranberry sauce for Missy Maki’s cooking show, Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki! I have such performance […]

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