Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour Recipe

Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour Recipe is an exquisite twist on the classic cocktail, tailor-made for holiday gatherings. A perfect balance of sweet and sour, the whisky sour is a fundamental bourbon drink celebrated for its harmonious blend of flavors.

Crafting the ideal whisky sour involves striking a delicate equilibrium between sugar and citrus. This recipe traces its origins back to Jerry Thomas’s 1862 book. Still, its roots likely extend further, possibly a century, with sailors concocting lemon juice and rum mixtures to battle scurvy and seasickness.

In this contemporary rendition, we’ve infused freshly squeezed orange juice and cranberry juice, meticulously preserving that coveted sweet-sour equilibrium. Even if whisky isn’t your usual choice, this cocktail offers a refreshing, smooth alternative, perfect for embracing the season’s spirit.

Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour Recipe

Cranberry Orange Whisky Sour Recipe

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 drink


  • Lowball glass
  • Cocktail shaker


  • 3 ounces whisky
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • Fresh cranberries for garnish
  • Crushed ice
  • Sugar for dusting the glass
  • Thyme sprig for garnish


  • Place a generous amount of sugar on a small plate. Use a small piece of lemon to moisten the rim of your glass. Dip the glass rim into the sugar to coat it evenly.
  • Fill a lowball glass with a good amount of crushed ice. Set aside.
    Crushed ice
  • Combine the whisky, cranberry juice, freshly squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
    1 ounce cranberry juice, 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup, 1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15 seconds, ensuring all the flavors meld together.
  • Carefully pour the whisky mixture into the prepared lowball glass filled with crushed ice.
    3 ounces whisky
  • Garnish the drink with fresh cranberries and a sprig of thyme for an aromatic touch.
    Fresh cranberries, Thyme sprig
  • Enjoy your Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour as you savor the captivating blend of citrus and whiskey notes.



Pro Tips for Success:

  • Adjust the balance of sweet and sour according to your preference. Starting with equal parts sour-to-sweet (lemon juice to simple syrup) is a solid base, but feel free to tailor it to your taste.
  • If you're missing the egg white that would turn it into a Boston sour, don't hesitate to enjoy your whiskey sour on the rocks.
  • Elevate your cocktail by adding a gentle float of fruity red wine (approximately 1/2 ounce), transforming it into a delightful New York sour.
  • For a unique twist, swap the simple syrup for herbal/floral honey to add complexity without straying far from the classic flavor profile.
Keyword Cranberry Orange Whisky Sour Recipe

Our think about Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour Poster

The beauty of Cranberry Bourbon Sour lies in creating a welcoming atmosphere for the holiday season, inviting us to gather, connect, and enjoy warm moments together. Even when the schedule is packed with travel plans, the prospect of finding new recipes and sharing them with people with the same passion as you excites us.

We really appreciate elevating a classic drink and creating an appeal by adding a touch of sweetness, elegance, and an extra layer of delicious flavor. While some may prefer the egg white variation, most still love the classic, approachable, seductive recipe.

Does cranberry juice go well with whiskey?

Yes, cranberry juice can pair especially well with whiskey in cocktails. The sour and slightly sweet taste of cranberry juice can complement the rich and complex notes of whiskey, and the acidity of cranberry juice can help reduce the whiskey’s richness, creating a balanced and exciting combination. At the same time, the natural sweetness can enhance the overall flavor of the cocktail.

In addition, cranberry juice can be used in many different whiskey cocktails to create a drink with a unique flavor.

What can you not mix with cranberry juice?

While cranberry juice can be a versatile ingredient in cocktails, some combinations may need to work better together due to flavor clashes or other factors. Here are a few ingredients that might not pair as effectively with cranberry juice in cocktails:

  • Strongly Flavored Liqueurs: Cranberry juice has a distinctive tartness that can sometimes clash with strongly flavored liqueurs, especially those with herbal or medicinal notes. It’s best to avoid combinations that create an overly complex or chaotic flavor profile.
  • Cream or Dairy: Mixing cranberry juice with cream or dairy-based ingredients can result in curdling, which is visually unappealing and alters the cocktail’s texture. Dairy products can react with the acidity of cranberry juice, so it’s generally a good idea to avoid this combination.
  • Citrus Overload: While a splash of citrus juice can complement cranberry juice, combining too many citrus flavors in one cocktail can make it overly sour. Be mindful of using multiple types of citrus juices or adding too much lemon or lime juice.
  • Extremely Sweet Ingredients: Cranberry juice is often used to balance tartness in cocktails. Mixing it with overly sweet ingredients, such as sugary syrups or liqueurs, can result in an excessively cloying drink.
  • Delicate Spirits: Cranberry juice’s bold flavor can overpower tender spirits or those with subtle notes. For example, a very light and soft gin might get lost in a cocktail with cranberry juice.
  • Spicy Ingredients: Combining cranberry juice with overly spicy ingredients, like hot sauces or strong chili-infused spirits, might create an unpleasant clash of flavors.