I posted this last year and it's on our agenda for this year, too. Bourbon, white wine and molasses make for cranberry sauce that you just won't find on the store shelves. You put so much effort into that turkey and the stuffing. Why not top it off with an exceptional cranberry treat?

Cranberry sauce? Wait, put down the can opener. You can make your own, your very own and very much better. You'll be using fresh cranberries. That can of sauce was made months ago, maybe even last year. This quick, easy recipe will give you a sense of pride. It’s so better to “make” your Thanksgiving spread than to “extract” it from cans and boxes.

Granted, Thanksgiving can be a tad of work. To space out the effort, Suzen and I have a three day program. Shop on Tuesday. Prepare as much as possible on Wednesday. Savor Thursday.

This bright cranberry sauce idea is from Recipes from Home by Barbara Shinn and David Page. The recipe below is exactly theirs, one they describe as nicely tart and not overly sweet. The “secret” ingredient is the bourbon, which they say offers mellowness and zing. And, there’s a deep undertone of molasses.

To personalize this recipe, you can go in many directions. More bourbon, but not too much more. Brandy instead of bourbon. Maple syrup instead of, or in addition to, the molasses. While you simmer the berries, you can add in a cinnamon stick or a few cloves [which you’ll want to strain out].

Play, experiment and enjoy. And, do remember to write down what you’ve done so next Thanksgiving you have a running start to another great and most personal delight.

Bourbon and White Wine Cranberry Sauce

Yield: 3 cups


  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and drained
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange


Place the wine, water, sugar, bourbon, and molasses in a 4-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add the cranberries and citrus zest and juice, then simmer until all the cranberries pop, about 15 minutes. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Source: Recipes from Home from Barbara Shinn and David Page

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for1/100th second at ISO‑1250