Thanksgiving Recipe: Beehive Bitters Cranberry Sauce and Cocktail

It’s time, my friends. We’re all getting ready to travel, to cook, to deal with in-laws, and to enjoy Thanksgiving. Our menus are set, our plans have been made, and I just can’t wait.

IMG_5056With so much preparation required for such a meal, I love making as many things in advance as possible. The easiest one? Cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is my second favorite Thanksgiving meal component. It sits right behind stuffing, because, duh, stuffing. I’ve tried every kind of recipe that exists for this necessary component, and I still love the most classic ones. I don’t want my cranberries shrouded in some boozy port reduction or over-powered by spices and citrus. I want cranberry. The turkey wants cranberry, too. Just ask him.

Beehive Bitters makes my favorite bitters, Spiced Orange. The flavors are balanced, bright, and perfect for both cooking and cocktail-ing. Warm baking-spice flavors play a key role next to the bright, tangy orange note. Since both of these are classic additions to cranberry sauce, it only makes sense to add them right in to the recipe. You can make this sauce up to four days in advance before the texture becomes more jelly-like, but it will keep for over a week. Make this today, and save yourself the stress, there will be plenty of other things to worry about once Thursday rolls around.

Now, since the best part of the weekend after Thanksgiving is all the leftovers, here’s what I’m doing with my leftover cranberry sauce. I make my sauce with just a bit more water than is necessary. I’ll drain off the excess into a jar and use it as a flavored simple syrup for cocktails. For the sauce, I love to spread ricotta over freshly toasted bread and top with cranberry sauce and grated orange zest. Boom, Black Friday breakfast.

Enjoy the holiday, and enjoy your cranberry sauce!


Beehive Bitters Cranberry Sauce
Serves 4-6

Cook time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Bonus Points: Local Bitters, Make Ahead

Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add cranberries and reduce heat to medium. Continue to gently boil for about 10 minutes and remove to a serving bowl. Remove 1/3 of liquid to be used for other recipes (ahem, cocktails). Stir in 2 dashes of bitters, add more to taste. Serve at room temperature or keep refrigerated until the day of your meal.


Beehive Bitters Cranberry Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

Cook time: Less than 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Bonus Points: Local Bitters, Make Ahead

  • 1 teaspoon cranberry simple syrup from cranberry sauce
  • 1 dash Spiced Orange Beehive Bitters
  • 6 ounces Prosecco or other sparkling wine
  • Spiced Orange Beehive Bitters
  • 1 orange, for garnish

Pour prosecco over cranberry syrup and bitters in a cocktail glass. Add more to taste if desired. Garnish with an orange wheel and fresh cranberries.


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