Brandied Cranberries {Classics Reinvented}

Sluurrrppp…. plop….slice….

How to make brandied cranberries for Thanksgiving

Look at that perfect form.

Raise your hand if this delicacy has made an appearance on your family’s Thanksgiving table. OK, keep ’em raised if you secretly love it.  Yeah.  We thought so.

This Thanksgiving marks our first big holiday (ever) away from family and friends.  We usually head from house to house to dine, dig in, and devour but this year we’re on our own.  *Crickets chirp* 

So to keep us busy and keep things fun, we’re hunkering down in the kitchen to reinvent some of our family classics, giving them a fresh, seasonal twist, and making them our own.  What better inspiration than that gelled classic that graces so many Thanksgiving tables…kicked up a notch. 

Fresh cranberries for cranberry sauce

This is already looking better than a can.

Let’s let loose on some Brandied Cranberries, shall we?


  • (24) ounces of fresh cranberries
  • (2) fresh clementines – zested and juiced

    Fresh clementines for brandied cranberries

    The return of clementines = the return of the holidays!

  • (1) and (3/4) cup of sugar
  • (1/4) cup of brandy
  • (1) teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • (2) cups of warm water
  • (1/4) teaspoon of ground cinnamon


1.  In a medium bowl, combine your brandy, sugar, vanilla, water, the zest and juice from your clementines and cinnamon (you can substitute nutmeg or cardamom if you prefer).

2.  Whisk the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.

3.  Pour your cranberries into a large bowl.  Add your liquid mixture.  Stir.

Pouring brandy into fresh cranberries

You can double up to a (1/2) cup of brandy instead if you want to give them a little extra "kick" for the holiday.

4.  Let the cranberry mixture macerate for (10) minutes.

5.  You’ll want to pour your cranberry mixture into a pan that allows the berries remain submerged in your liquid.

How to make brandied cranberries for Thanksgiving

We used a 13 x 9 baking pan.

6.  After your oven has preheated to 325 degrees, place your pan in for one hour and (15) minutes to cook.

Alternate cooking directions:  Cook on the stove top on medium-low in a stick-proof pot for same amount of time.

How to make brandied cranberries for Thanksgiving

In they go...

7.  When you remove the pan, carefully stir your mixture to blend but do so lightly in order to retain the cranberries’ shape.
How to make brandied cranberries for Thanksgiving

Your ideal consistency.


8.  Let cool and once done, either plate up or pack up to refrigerate for later.

Storing brandied cranberries

Once cooled, you can either plate or pack up to store for later (for up to six months!).


How to make brandied cranberries for Thanksgiving

This recipe yields a little over a pint. We made in advance to refrigerate so we're all set for Thanksgiving. The flavor actually enhances overnight.


So give this one a try would you, and let us know… is it better than the “real” thing?

Until we reinvent again,

A + H


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