Cranberry Sauce. Love It or Leave It?

Growing up, I was never a fan of cranberry sauce, probably because it was the canned jellied version that was plated as one big lump on the festive table. Not too appealing… But of course, as we age, our tastes change, and so hopefully do our desires for something more elegant, especially at holiday time.

For this variation from Serious Eats, spices like cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves as well as orange juice and zest are combined, then finished off with a bit of spiced rum. “The end result is incredible: a cranberry sauce that has a multidimensional array of seasonal flavors that fits seamlessly into any Thanksgiving meal,” according to chef Joshua Bousel.

And it couldn’t be any easier. I bet if you still are ambivalent about cranberry sauce, this time around you just might love it!

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. spiced rum


  1. Place all cranberries, white sugar, water, brown sugar, orange juice, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, Kosher salt, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until berries start to pop, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, stir in spiced rum, and let cool for 30 minutes. Adjust consistency with additional water as needed. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator, reheating prior to serving.

Recipe by Joshua Bousel for Serious Eats


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