Cranberry Old Fashioned

I will not let myself get overwhelmed this holiday season….

I will not let myself get overwhelmed this holiday season….

Repeat as necessary

–Me to myself

So, instead of getting overwhelmed, I am going to slink away into a quiet corner of my house and update my blog.  I’ve been on a little cranberry kick. The Cranberry Margarita has become an easy, festive go-to. When I wanted to switch from tequila, I made another old favorite, the Cranberry Orange Cosmo.  I have a nice little collection of other cranberry cocktail recipes but, for my brown-spirit-loving friends, I wanted to try this one first.

A traditional Old Fashioned is Bourbon or Rye, Sugar, and Angostura bitters. That’s it. When I started experimenting with this recipe I did a little research to make sure I didn’t go too off course and mess up a classic cocktail.  I highly suggest visiting for more information about this beloved drink, it’s an informative and easy read. But, thankfully, the recipe I selected for this cocktail did not lead me astray.

Cranberry Old Fashioned

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Credit: Girl in the Little Red Kitchen


-2 oz rye

-2 oz cranberry juice (Ocean Spray 100% juice, no sugar added)

-¼ oz pomegranate simple syrup

-2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

-cranberries and/or orange twist for garnish, if desired


    1.Put ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.

    2.Roll the cocktail by gently pouring the ingredients between two mixing glasses or shaker tins at least two or three times.

  1. Strain into a double old fashioned glass.  Add ice and garnish, if desired.

*view this video for more on how to roll a cocktail.


Old Fashioned purists might cringe at thought of “contaminating” their beloved drink with juice….and/or the use of rye instead of bourbon.  I made one with each and found that the rye was smoother and blended better with the other flavors. But, if you prefer bourbon, I would hardly discourage you from making a substitution.

Apparently, by using a shaker and ice, I may have created a Whiskey Cocktail instead of an Old Fashioned.  At least I did opt for a more gentle roll instead of a vigorous shake. In any rate, I found that this technique, versus a vigorous shake, still allows for adequate mixing without too much stress or dilution…and I’m still going to call it an Old Fashioned.

Ice is optional. I prefer it with ice, both during mixing and in the glass for drinking.  Some would shudder at that thought but it is a matter of preference.  Do what you like best.

I recommend Angostura bitters.  Orange bitters might work well also, though.  And garnish is up to you. Tradition calls for an orange twist.  I liked the addition of cranberries because it was festive and I had them.  But the orange would be lovely as well.

In closing, I may very well burn in hell for breaking these the Old Fashioned rules – but I’m okay with that.  Regardless of that, this cocktail is refreshing and extremely easy to enjoy.  The rye is a delightful complement to the cranberry juice.  The mixture is tart, yet smooth – a wonderful, subtly sweet cocktail to serve at all your fall and winter festive gatherings. Cheers!


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