Very Merry Christmas Old Fashioned Cocktail

A Very Merry Cranberry Old Fashioned

Very Merry Christmas Old Fashioned Cocktail

Table of Contents


At Amazing Grace, we love spreading holiday cheer, and our talented bartenders have crafted the Very Merry Cranberry Old Fashioned as the perfect festive-inspired drink for you to enjoy at home! Sweet, spicy and downright comforting, we’ve added a yuletide twist to this well-loved cocktail. 

This delectable syrup is a fun “Christmassy” addition to the popular recipe. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a month and use it with other homemade cocktails, mocktails, or sparking water. The possibilities are endless!

Grab the recipe below and let the merry-ness begin!

What is an old fashioned?

A traditional old-fashioned is created by combining sugar, bitters, water, and bourbon. The drink is typically served with one large ice cube and garnished with orange rind, zest, and a maraschino cherry.

Then and Now

The cocktail was developed in the 19th century and was officially named in the 1880s in Louisville, Kentucky.

This cocktail was created when cocktail making was in its infancy, so bartending techniques were more basic than what we see today. The Old Fashioned is said to have been invented by a bartender at the Pendennis Club in honour of one of their members, Colonel James E Pepper. He was a prominent bourbon distiller and owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC.

In 2015, Louisville named the Old Fashioned as its official cocktail. The city celebrates this heritage every June with a festival aptly named “Old Fashioned Fortnight”.

In January 2020, Drinks International recognised The Old Fashioned as the top-selling cocktail worldwide after a global poll of over 100 bars.

Very Merry Christmas Old Fashioned Cocktail
Very Merry Christmas Old Fashioned Cocktail

How to make the Very Merry Cranberry Old Fashioned


  • Double Old Fashioned glasses (or your finest glassware) 
  • Bitters
  • Single ice cube mould (square or round, your choice!)
  • Peeler
  • Saucepan
  • Mason Jar or another airtight container



Bourbon: The traditional way to make an Old Fashioned is to use Bourbon. At Amazing Grace, we prefer the rich and flavoursome notes found in Woodford Reserve.

Cranberries: Fresh is always better, but frozen will also do the job.

Spices: To capture the essence of the Christmas spirit, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and cloves are essential. This will also make your whole house smell amazing while making the syrup!

Bitters: Old Fashioned Bitters are the best to use in this case and can be found in any speciality drinks store. Some of our favourite local London stores are listed below. If you can’t find it, you can substitute it for any bitters you like, such as walnut or cherry.

Orange: We suggest using large Valencia oranges as they have beautiful aromatic rinds perfect for the syrup and garnish needed in this cocktail. 



For the Oranges & Spices: Borough Market

For the Bourbon and Bitters: The Whiskey Exchange

Glassware & Ice Cube Mould: Borough Kitchen Cook Shop

Very Merry Cranberry Old Fashioned Cocktail

The Very Merry Cranberry Old Fashioned Recipe


  • 350ml water
  • 150g sugar
  • 50g fresh or frozen cranberries
  • One Valencia orange (peel only)
  • Two cinnamon sticks
  • One vanilla bean
  • One thumb-sized piece of ginger sliced
  • Eight whole cloves


  • 60ml of Woodford Reserve Bourbon
  • 20ml of Very Merry Cranberry Syrup (recipe above)
  • Two dashes Old Fashioned bitters (or whichever one you’re using)
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish


  1. You can start by making the syrup. Using a vegetable peeler, carefully remove the peel from the orange (reserve one slice of peel for the garnish for every cocktail you are making).
  2. Place the orange peel pieces with the water, sugar, cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, into a saucepan. Scrape the beans out of the vanilla pod and add to the saucepan. Simmer the ingredients until the liquid has been reduced to about one cup (250ml).
  3. Strain the liquid, pour it into an airtight container, and let it cool completely. This syrup will last for up to a month in the fridge.
  4. Add the bourbon, bitters, and syrup into a glass, and stir for 30-40 seconds.
  5. Add ice to the glass. Mix ingredients again.
  6. Garnish with expressed orange peel. Enjoy!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *