Christmas Old Fashioned

1 servings
15 min

It's hard to ignore the cold weather outside, so cozy up with a good glass of whiskey and make yourself a cocktail! This Cranberry Old Fashioned is a festive twist on a classic cocktail: using raw honey fermented with cranberries in place of sugar.

old fashioned cocktail with a cocktail pick with dried orange slice and cranberries. Jar of cranberry honey and mixing glass on background on a Christmas plaid tablecloth

The cranberry flavors pair well for a seasonal drink that's not too sweet but good for this time of year. This whiskey cocktail is a welcome way to usher in the holiday season...and maybe some Christmas cheer.

In the winter months, most folks don't want to drink overly tart cocktails, but this honey old-fashioned is a great choice for those looking for a warm and slightly sweet cocktail during this cold weather. The rye whiskey is a little spicy, and the flavor of raw honey has just enough bite to stand up to it without making it too sweet. With its great color, this drink will also serve as a beautiful centerpiece at your next holiday party or gathering!

person placing cranberries in mason jar
  • Cranberry Honey: This recipe blends that classic cocktail by adding cranberry honey syrup. I love how this adds a bit of sweetness and a hint of tartness to the drink. You can make your cranberry honey or use it to replace the traditional sugar cube. (or 1:1 honey syrup of your choice)
  • Angostura bitters: I also like adding Angostura bitters to the drink for depth of flavor
  • Good bourbon or whiskey (I love love love Rowan's Creek but use whatever type of whiskey is good for you!)
  • fresh cranberries, cherries, or garnish of choice


The cranberry old fashioned is a simple drink, but it can be made in many different ways.

First things first: get a glass! You'll need one that is chilled, so if you don't have a cocktail shaker, research how to get your glass cold before making this drink.

Next, mix the ingredients for your honey syrup. You'll want to ensure you have equal parts honey and cranberries—you can use any honey you like but make sure it's raw!

person placing cranberries in mason jar
person squeezing juice into orange in mason jar
person adding honey to mason bar with cranberries and ginger

If you want to add a dash of Angostura bitters for extra flavor, go for it! Now you've got your syrup ready to go.

mason jar filled with fermented cranberry honey

Now comes the fun part—putting everything together!

First, place some fresh ice in your glass if you need help chilling the drink. Then add the bourbon and top off with water (or not).

Mix well with a bar spoon or stirrer until everything is combined and chilled enough for your tastes; if you'd like more of an alcoholic kick, up the amount of bourbon in your recipe, or try bourbon for whiskey (but make sure it's not too strong).


Bourbon lovers rejoice as bourbon whiskey is a great way to dress up this holiday drink.

You can swap the cranberry honey for a basic simple syrup or even make your own brown sugar simple syrup. Maple syrup is also a great sweetener.

Swapper spices in this holiday old-fashioned: add some star anise, whole cloves, or other warm spices to your syrup.

Garnish options

rosemary sprigs, cinnamon sticks, an orange twist, or a cocktail pick with sugared cranberries

📖 Recipe
Recipe details
  • 1  servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 15 min
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  • 1 oz. whiskey
  • Three dashes Angostura Bitters
  • ¼ oz cranberry honey syrup
  • One large ice cube

In a mixing glass, place honey syrup and Angostura bitters
Add your bourbon and a large ice cube to the glass to chill.
Stir well to mix and pour into a chilled rocks glass
Add more ice cubes or a splash of water if needed.
Garnish with an orange twist or a smoked sprig of rosemary
  • Using a fresh orange peel, use a swizzle stick or stirrer to muddle the orange peel and release its oils into the cocktail before dropping it into the glass.
Stephanie | Slow Living Kitchen
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  • Jean Jean on Dec 01, 2022

    do you have a recipe for the cranberry honey used in this drink?

  • Brenda Brenda on Dec 05, 2022

    You did not provide a recipe for the cranberry honey

    no where did it say anything about ginger until the photo adding honey.

    Says it’s fermented how long does it sit before using?

    if you have directions please provide