Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce

You’re going to love the flavor red wine brings to this Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce. 

Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce

I love cooking and baking with alcohol during the holidays. And no, it’s not because I drink, but because it adds a richer flavor to whatever you add it to.

For example, my most recent Pumpkin Pie, where I add bourbon to the pumpkin filling for a richer flavor. You can really taste the difference. Well, at least I can. I hope you did too.

A few years back, I shared a Cranberry Cherry Sauce where the cherries soaked overnight in wine. This year, I took it up a notch and soaked both the cranberries and cherries in wine overnight. And not just two Tablespoons of wine.

Nope, this year I soaked my little berries in a cup of wine for a more intense and full flavor.

Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce

Sorry, you won’t get drunk off this dish, so don’t be hoarding it all to yourself this Christmas. However, you will find this Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce with a richer flavor than your usual Holiday cranberry sauce.

Especially if you’re serving red wine with your meal.

Now if you’ve never had homemade cranberry sauce, you’re going to be quite surprised because it tastes nothing like the jellied can version.

The flavors are amazing and there’s no stiff jelly feel to it. It reminds me of a thick jam or marmalade, but with a little hint of sweetness instead of a spoonful of sugar.

And the walnuts add a nice little crunchy texture, while also adding flavor to the cranberry sauce.

Once you make your own cranberry sauce, you won’t go back to the canned stuff. Soaking the canned stuff in red wine isn’t homemade either. Sorry.

If you make one cranberry sauce this Christmas, make this Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce and amaze everyone.

As always, if you do make this Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce, please leave a comment below, or share it with me by tagging your Instagram with #sweetandspicymonkey, so I can see all the cranberry goodness you create in your kitchen. Happy Eating!

Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce
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Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 8 ounces

Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries and cherries are soaked overnight in red wine to give this Drunken Cherry Cranberry Sauce a beautiful dark red coloring, along with rich, full flavors.


  • 12 ounces of fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, for topping


  1. Either the night before preparing or early the day of, add cranberries, cherries, wine, and apple cider to an airtight container. Let refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours before making.
  2. After soaking, place in medium saucepan with coconut sugar. Add in orange juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously.
  3. Once sauce starts to simmer, turn heat down a little and continue to cook for about 20 minutes or until cranberries have all popped. You will start to hear little popping sounds as mixture heats up. Use the back of your spoon to gently pop any stragglers.
  4. After sauce has reached desired thickness (remember it will thicken as it cools), remove pan from heat and add in vanilla and orange marmalade, blending throughout sauce. You can add in more sugar if you prefer a little sweeter sauce.
  5. Fold in walnuts.
  6. Let cool to room temperature and serve or let chill before serving.
  7. Top with orange zest before serving.


- Can also use granulated white sugar instead of coconut sugar

- Best if made at least 2 days before serving, 1 day for soaking cranberries and cherries overnight, the next day for chilling the sauce before serving.


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