These Boozy Sugared Cranberries are the perfect garnish for all of your holiday cocktails or just a delicious little treat to add to your holiday spread. Soaked in orange liqueur and rolled in sugar, you can't go wrong with this sweet-and-sour combination.
On my quest to make something delicious with my leftover cranberries, I ended up with some delicious Boozy Sugared Cranberries as well as a Cranberry Orange Liqueur Syrup.
Talk about two-for-one! These small and delightful treats are sweet and sour and pack a ton of flavor! This recipe was inspired by A Spicy Perspective.
How to Make Boozy Sugared Cranberries
Place 1 cup of sugar, water, vanilla extract, and orange liqueur in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves but do not bring it to a boil.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries. Place something heavy on top to keep the cranberries submerged.
Once the mixture has cooled enough, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Strain the cranberries through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Once fully drained, place the syrup in a sealable bottle or container.
Put the remaining sugar in a container with a lid. Put the cranberries in the container, put on the cover, and gently shake and turn to fully coat the cranberries with sugar.
Place the cranberries on a piece of wax paper to dry for at least an hour. Once dry, place the cranberries in a sealable container until you are ready to use or serve.
How to Store the Sugared Cranberries and Syrup
Both the Sugared Cranberries and the syrup need to be stored in sealable containers. My container of choice for the cranberries was a plastic container with a lid.
I put the syrup in a sealable bottle like this one and stored it in the fridge. The cranberries last for 1-2 weeks covered in the fridge and the syrup will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.
What To Do With Boozy Sugared Cranberries
Well, obviously these are going to make an amazing garnish on a cocktail. Or several cocktails, LOL! They are also a delicious treat to put out for a cocktail party or holiday get-together (see below for the kid-friendly version). How great would these look on a holiday cheese plate or Thanksgiving table?
How to Make these Cranberries Non-Boozy
If you are going to have kiddos around and want to make them their own sugared cranberries without the booze, all you need to do is substitute the orange liqueur with orange extract. You can also leave out the orange entirely and just have regular candied cranberries. Everything else stays the same.
Tools to Make Boozy Sugared Cranberries
This set of 3 strainers is my favorite and I use them all the time. They are perfect for this recipe to separate the cranberries from the syrup so you can enjoy both!
I also love this glass storage set from Anchor Hocking. The lids seal perfectly and the glass is always easy to clean and doesn't hold any odor.
This saucepan is from my new favorite Cookware line, Caraway Home. They are completely non-stick and non-toxic and they come in beautiful colors.
Boozy Sugared Cranberries
- sealable bottle or bowl for syrup
- sealable container for cranberries
- small plate or bowl to submerge cranberries
- 1½ cups sugar, divided
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier)
- 2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
- Place 1 cup of sugar, water, vanilla extract, and orange liqueur in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves but do not bring to a boil. This will take only a few minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cranberries. Place something heavy on top to keep the cranberries submerged (be careful not to overflow the pan). I had a round flat bowl that worked perfectly or a small plate should work as well.
- Once the mixture has cooled, cover it with foil or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight to allow the cranberries to soak in all of that delicious syrup.
- After soaking, strain the cranberries through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Once fully drained, place the syrup in a sealable bottle or container, place it in the fridge, and save for cocktails or desserts!
- Put the remaining sugar in a container with a lid (or a small bowl). Gently place the cranberries in the container, put on the lid, and gently shake and turn to fully coat the cranberries with sugar (if your cranberries are in a bowl, use a spoon to carefully mix the cranberries in the sugar to coat).
- Place the sugared cranberries on a piece of wax paper to dry for at least an hour. Make sure they are separated so they have room to dry.
- Once dry, place the cranberries in a sealable container in the fridge until you are ready to use or serve. They will last for 1-2 weeks covered in the fridge.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did you Make These Boozy Sugared Cranberries?
If you make this recipe, don't forget to leave a comment and rating below. If you snap a photo, tag me on Instagram or Facebook. And, don't forget to follow me on Pinterest and sign up for my email list so you never miss a recipe!
I'm steeping the cranberries now, but have no room in the fridge. Is refrigeration for the 12 hours really necessary? Can I just leave them out on the counter?
Hi Jackie, I haven’t tried it that way but I don’t see why it won’t work. If you try it, let me know how it goes! Happy holidays 😊
Thanks! I will let you know. Happy Holidays back at you!
My syrup didn’t turn red like the picture, I ended up having to put some grenadine in it … the only thing I changed was the amount of cranberries because I just used the whole 16 oz bag of cranberries . The recipe calls for 2 cups not 16 oz but the bad is about 3 cups do I made a batch and a half to make up for the extra cup of berries so I would think that would be ok but my syrup was clear with only a very slight pink hue….
Hi Chris, I'm not sure why the syrup wouldn't pick up the color from the cranberries. As long as you calculated correctly and allowed the berries to steep for at least 12 hours, adding more to the recipe should not have changed anything. I use Ocean Spray brand bagged cranberries when I make this recipe and haven't had the same experience. Adding grenadine is a good fix or even a few drops of food coloring as long as the syrup had the cranberry orange flavor. Thanks for trying the recipe!
Mine didn’t turn red either, but I think I know why. I didn’t allow my mixture to cool before refrigerating. I think had I done that, the cranberries would have “cooked” a bit , which in turn would allow some of the red to bleed into the syrup. Just a guess, though. Lol. I’m going to try again and see if I’m right.
Hi Kelly, thanks for sharing. So weird the cranberries are not cooperating, lol. Let me know how your second batch turns out!
I make a version of the Southern Living Cranberry Christmas Cake & these are the best for decorating the top. It's absolutely stunning & so delicious!! Thank you so much.
Thanks for sharing, Bea! That sounds like an amazing way to celebrate 😁
I like how you get both the boozy sugar cranberries and the cranberry syrup out of the same recipe. Cool!
Right?!? If only all recipes could be a 2-for-1!
Chef Dennis says
My wife is super loving these Boozy Sugared Cranberries!
That's great, Dennis! Smart to make them for your wife 😉.
Wow this sounds like a really great idea ! Thanks for sharing!
You are welcome, I hope you get a chance to try them!
Beautiful....such a fun idea too.
Debra, thank you, they are fun to make and eat!
So good, I love that the sugar syrup tempers the tartness. Great recipe!
I agree, the sweet and sour combination is perfect!
Yum! These were so delicious! Thank you for sharing, can't wait to make these with some cocktails over Christmas
You are so welcome, enjoy!!
Sarah James says
Your Boozy Sugared Cranberries look delicious. What a great idea, i can't wait to make these for Christmas drinks. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Sarah, I hope you get a chance to make them!
Lizet Bowen says
Of course, I'll have to try them this weekend before I serve them to other people! I can imagine the flavors. I can't wait to try this recipe.
Yes, taste testing beforehand is a good idea 😉...
This sugared cranberries looks so perfect for Christmas on a snowy day!!! Perfect way to use the cranberries on discount for the season besides making cranberry sauce!!
Thanks, Brenda. I agree, poor cranberries always end up as sauce, let's give them another recipe to be, LOL!
What a fun treat for the holidays! The flavors sound absolutely amazing and I love that sugar coating.
Thanks, Tara, they are perfect for any holiday celebration!
Can't wait to. make this for Christmas!!
They are perfect for Christmas!
These are so beautiful! Thank you for the recipe - perfect for our holiday gathering!
Thanks for a great recipe, these look so wonderfully festive!
You are welcome, Chloe! They are fun to make and eat.
Love how you gave both boozy and non boozy options!
My family loved it!
I'm so glad your family enjoyed these. I found out my son loves cranberries too!
They look sweet
I just love sugared cranberries!
These boozy cranberries look like the perfect use for the extra cranberries I have in my fridge. Plus I get a syrup - I'm already imagining the cocktails I can make! Thanks for a great recipe!
You are so welcome, Sue. I can't wait to hear about your cocktails!