Applejack-Spiked Cranberry Sauce

In my family, one of the most cherished items on the table for the holidays are the brandied cranberries.

It’s basically just from scratch cranberry sauce with a bunch of brandy tossed in when they’re cool so it doesn’t cook off. That means it needs to sit for a few days to let the flavors meld at for the stuff not to taste like straight up booze.

Applejack-Spiked Cranberry Sauce

I added my own little spin by adding a few spicy notes with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and substituting my favorite holiday booze, applejack.

Get ready to give thanks to that most American of fruits, the apple (despite it getting its start where Borat is from – but hey, most of us are transplants here), and its magical ability to give us sweetness, sustenance, and intoxication. And to turn your Thanksgiving cranberry sauce up to 11.

Applejack-Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Yield: About 2 cups


  • 2 12-oz bags fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 golf-ball sized chunks peeled ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick, wrapped in cheesecloth if overly flaky
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 Tbsp applejack


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix cranberries, sugar, ginger and cinnamon stick in a medium-large saucepan. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, stir well, and bake an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven to cool. When completely cooled, stir in nutmeg and applejack.
  5. Allow to stand covered in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours, or up to a week to allow flavors to blend.

What’s your favorite way to use up leftover cranberry sauce (if there is any?)


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