Raise a glass, cocktail lovers — it’s the most wonderful time of the year! And, as for what should be in that cocktail glass, might it be this Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail Recipe?
The garland is hung and cookie-swapping is upon us, but there’s another major reason we adore the end of the year. It is because the few months between Halloween and the New Year is the high season for cocktail parties and we’re so here for it!
How To Master Holiday Entertaining
Though we’ve shared many entertaining tips — such as how to master holiday prep or set up your bar cart — our all-time top tip is to always have a signature cocktail at your festive gathering. Having a signature cocktail means your bar can center around just one drink. When that drink is a standout cocktail, it becomes a total conversation piece too!
What Is A Traditional Whiskey Sour Cocktail?
So what exactly is a whiskey sour cocktail you may be asking yourself.
A classic whiskey sour cocktail is a traditional sour style drink — meaning it always has something sour (usually citrus juice) and something sweet (a simple syrup, sugar, or honey, for example) — but made with whiskey.
The drink is a delicious concoction of lemon juice, sugar, egg white, maple syrup, and of course whiskey. There are several variations of the whiskey sour in the classic cocktail canon, such as the Boston Sour and the New York Sour.
It’s said that the Whiskey Sour origins come from ship culture during the 1700s. To avoid the common threat of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) among sailors, citrus would be added to common drinks, hence the lemon!
The cocktail got its name here in the states based on the fact that whiskey is used, and that the lemon juice creates that noticeable “sour” taste. The UK style of the drink is often preferred with an extra kick as it contains gin or brandy.
For a strong traditional taste of the Whiskey Sour cocktail, bourbon is the dealer’s choice here in the United States. For those who may want a less harsh version of the cocktail, adding more egg white can balance the flavors.
The Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail
This holiday we took the classic whiskey sour cocktail that you know and love, then made it even more delicious thanks to the addition of a cinnamon-and-clove-spiced cranberry simple syrup. Say hello to the Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail.
The aroma of the simple syrup cooking is so good we wish it was a candle scent! Then, when it’s shaken together with the classic whiskey sour ingredients and topped with dashes of aromatic and orange bitters and a slice of citrus.
Bottom line: this Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail is so festive it’s sure to become an instant holiday classic.
The Essential Ingredient
You already know how essential ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters are in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned. And we certainly can’t get enough of it in our low-ABV cocktails.
But the reason this bar staple is so key for holiday cocktails? The telltale flavors of ANGOSTURA aromatic and orange bitters, of course! The bitters flood the senses with aromatic bouquets, citrus notes, and hints of spice, which gives zest and complexity to all of your cold-weather favorites.
Bottom line: as we settle into the cozy winter season, this combination of cranberry-flavored, cinnamon-and-clove spiced simple syrup plus ANGOSTURA bitters takes a classic Whiskey Sour and transforms it into a seasonal delight with a dash (or several! ) of holiday spirit. Cheers to the Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail!
Oh, and if you’re in search of what to serve with your new signature cocktail, we’ve got you covered with our Best Appetizers For Entertaining.
Now go stock up on all your cooking essentials, then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!
Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail Recipe
For The Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup:
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup Pure maple syrup
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- Zest of 1 medium blood orange peeled off in a long, 1-inch-wide strip with a vegetable peeler (be careful not to include any white pith)
For The Spiced Cranberry Whiskey Sour Cocktail:
- ice cubes
- 1 1/2 ounces good-quality bourbon whiskey
- 1 ounce Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 3/4 ounce egg white beaten until smooth
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Dried Orange Slices for garnish
- Make The Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup: Combine the cranberries, water, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce heat to low. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and orange peel. Simmer until the majority of the cranberries collapse, which should take about 5 minutes.Remove from heat and set aside to let cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve and let sit until the liquid has drained from the cranberry mixture, at least 10 minutes.FYI: If you don't let all the cranberries burst and don't strain it, this can make a quick cranberry sauce! Just lower teh maple syrup to 2/3 cup total.
- Make The Spiced Cranberry Whisky Sour Cocktail: Place a few ice cubes and some water in a coupe glass to chill the glass, then set aside until ready to use.For one cocktail, combine the bourbon with 1 ounce of the Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup, egg white, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and add enough ice to fill the majority of the way. Close the shaker and shake vigorously for approximately 15 seconds until condensation appears on the outside of the cocktail shaker.
- Empty the ice and water from the coupe glass and strain the whiskey sour into the glass. Top with 2 dashes of ANGOSTURA aromatic bitters and 1 dash of ANGOSTURA orange bitters (note that only the aromatic bitters will leave a visible mark on top of the egg cocktail). Drag a clean knife, toothpick, or straw across the dash of ANGOSTURA to make a heart shape. Add one dehydrated orange slice to the cocktail rim to garnish and serve immediately.