Cranberry Sauce with Cognac

by Nov 9, 2023

Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things to make for Thanksgiving. I love the colors, aroma, and the sight and sound of the berries popping and cooking into a compote. It’s the perfect thing to make in advance too, as it lasts for at least a week.



Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Cognac

makes about 2 cups


  • one 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  • cup brown sugar or honey or some of each
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 2–3 tablespoons Cognac (or Bourbon or Grand Marnier) optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 2 inches
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 allspice


  1. Rinse cranberries, pick out and discard any bad ones, and put the rest in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add sugar/honey, orange zest and juice, and Cognac (if you wish). Bundle the spices in a small square of cheesecloth tied with a piece of kitchen string and add to the cranberries.

  2. Bring pot to boil over moderate heat. Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and compost/discard bundle of spices. Let cool and store in covered container in the refrigerator.


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