Eeeep! You guys. I have the best cranberry sauce for you!

bourbon cider vanilla cranberry sauce I #thanksgiving #cranberrysauce #sidedish

You’re probably thinking WHAT? Um, who are you? You are the person who swore to always and forever eat only canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving!

Yes. Yes I might be that person.

bourbon cider vanilla cranberry sauce I #thanksgiving #cranberrysauce #sidedish

Even though I might have said a few years ago that I’d never cross over to the dark (um, better?) side and eat REAL cranberry sauce? I’m eating my words. Literally. Changing my tune.

bourbon cider vanilla cranberry sauce I #thanksgiving #cranberrysauce #sidedish

So here’s the thing. Eddie has never been a fan of cranberry sauce in general. If you’ve followed the blog here for a while then you know that I’ve been a fan of the canned stuff. OH YES I SAID IT.

In fact, in previous years I have preached it.  Shouted it from the rooftops! Owned my love for canned cranberry sauce. Reveled in it.

And, the other thing is that I still really love canned cranberry sauce. It’s a total nostalgia thing for me. My mom would not only have it on Thanksgiving – there would be a few nights throughout the year (maybe three or four, max) that she would serve it on a weeknight when she made a more comfort food-like dinner and it was such a treat.

bourbon cider vanilla cranberry sauce I #thanksgiving #cranberrysauce #sidedish

Last Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law made legit cranberry sauce and everyone loved it. And Eddie loved it too! Our favorite use for it was in leftovers and on sandwiches. It was fantastic. And I’ve been a major convert ever since.

Now for my new favorite version? Our Friendsgiving version where things get a little wild? Cider, bourbon AND vanilla. Oh my gosh. It is heaven sent. So flavorful. Apple cider with a hint of bourbon and fresh vanilla beans can do no wrong. I say you give it a good test run tonight!

bourbon cider vanilla cranberry sauce I #thanksgiving #cranberrysauce #sidedish

Bourbon Vanilla Cider Cranberry Sauce

5 from 41 votes
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  • 1 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 vanilla bean split


  • Combine the cranberries, sugar, bourbon, apple cider and split vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the ingredients together. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let it bubbly and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the cranberries begin to break down and the mixture thickens. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to thicken even more.
  • I like the leave the vanilla bean in until serving, just for extra vanilla bean flavor! You can reheat this to serve it and it stays great in the fridge.

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bourbon cider vanilla cranberry sauce I #thanksgiving #cranberrysauce #sidedish

Um and most definitely make this cake with the leftovers.