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Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned

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Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Leah Hall

This holiday cocktail is a great combination of festive flavors with the cranberry and rosemary with whiskey!


This drink marries bourbon and Christmas’ signature berry. At least I think of it as the signature berry. At least in our house. I love sugared cranberries and cranberry simple syrup in everything around Christmas time, and for that matter, at Thanksgiving! Or, make a great Christmas cocktail with our cranberry Ornament Cocktail!

Top shot of red cocktail with cranberries and rosemary

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Red cocktail with cranberries and rosemary

This cranberry rosemary cocktail is a perfect drink for your holiday parties coming up. And, because it is an Old Fashioned, is super easy to make on repeat for all those thirsty guests at your house!


Friends, are you in the holiday spirit yet? We hope so!

Red cocktail in rocks glass with cranberries and rosemary

Make this holiday cocktail for your Thanksgiving happy hour, Christmas cookie exchange, after shopping for Black Friday, or Christmas package wrapping, because lets be real.

red Cranberry cocktail in rocks glass on wood top, rosemary sprigs

Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned Cocktail

We combined cranberries and rosemary in this simple syrup to flavor the Old Fashioned for two reasons. One, because it is such a pretty color and makes the drink so festive and perfect as a Christmas cocktail. Two, because it tastes good. Cranberry and rosemary together is so flavorful and fresh tasting.

Red cocktail in rocks glass, rosemary sprigs, cranberries on wood table

An Old Fashioned is know by it’s use of ice. Or lack thereof. You can either build it in the glass and give it a great stir, which is why an ice sphere is the perfect vehicle for this. An ice sphere gives the coolness the drink needs, but doesn’t water down the bourbon or the simple syrup, making the first sip as good as the last. The more diluted this drink becomes the less enjoyable it will be.


Although, in our house we don’t usually let them sit long enough for this to be a factor. No, that isn’t a drunk joke. Ha!

Cranberries around red cocktail in glass with rosemary sprigs

What Ingredients are Needed for the Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned?

  • Whiskey (we used a cask strength whiskey for this one!)
  • Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup
  • aromatic bitters
  • sugared cranberries and rosemary stems if desired.


As you can see, very few ingredients for this holiday cocktail, and so easy to make!

Red cocktail being stirred in rocks glass

What are bitters and why should you use them?

Bitters are an alcoholic liquid flavored with botanicals. Ingredients vary, but the most common ones are cassia, citrus, flowers and herbs. Bitters add flavor and balance to your cocktails, but a little goes a long way. You really only need 1 or 2 drops per cocktail. We always refer to them as the salt and pepper of the cocktail world. Don’t “oversalt” you can always add more, but can’t take away.


Angostura Bitters are the most classic bitter and is perfect for this drink. You can also find orange Angostura Bitters which would be delightful in this cranberry cocktail. Think of orange cranberry relish! Try out our Cranberry Aperol Spritz, too!




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Other Old Fashioned Recipes


Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

cocktail with cinnamon stick and clear ice in rocks glass, mixing glass behindWinter Rye Old Fashioned


Striped rocks glass with Spiced Old FashionedSpiced Old Fashioned


Red cocktail in rocks glass with cranberries and rosemary
Yield: 1

Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This holiday cocktail is a great cranberry Old Fashioned with a little rosemary thrown in!


Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned

  • 2 ounces Cask Strength Whiskey
  • .50 ounce Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish, if desired

Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 2 rosemary sprigs


Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned

  1. This is a build in glass cocktail, so place an ice ball into a rocks glass.
  2. Add in whiskey, simple syrup and bitters.
  3. Stir until syrup is combined, and drink is chilled.
  4. Garnish with cranberries and rosemary sprigs

Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup

  1. Combine sugar and water with cranberries in small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Warm until almost boiling, and most of the cranberries have popped.
  3. Pull of of heat, add in rosemary sprigs and let infuse for 15 minutes.
  4. Strain out syrup, discarding cranberries and rosemary.
  5. Store in jar, in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Sodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 12gSugar: .1g

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