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Cranberry Sauce with Cognac


This is a spicy variation on traditional cranberry sauce.

  • Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 1995


  • 2 cups fresh or defrosted frozen cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons Cognac
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 whole allspice berries
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon stick (1/2-inch piece)


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, Cognac, sugar, and orange juice. Place allspice, cloves, peppercorns, red-pepper flakes, and cinnamon stick in a double layer of cheesecloth; bundle it up, tie with kitchen string, and add to saucepan.

  2. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring often, until syrupy, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bundle, and transfer mixture to a bowl, let cool, and refrigerate until needed.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Jon-San
    24 NOV, 2014
    I have been making this recipe every Thanksgiving since I saw it in the November 1995 (Number 34) issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. (I still have the magazine!) It's always a hit!
  • MS12137482
    1 DEC, 2013
    Enjoyed greatly. Had to cook it longer than the directions said. Has a small kick to it too.
  • Betsycan
    23 DEC, 2010
    I varied this a wee bit because I had half cup of dried cranberries on hand (and I love the different textures of fresh and dried fruit) so I reduced the sugar a smidge. I used brandy instead of cognac because that's all I had on hand (and my 3 TBSP addition. I also increased the spice quantity in the sachet and I added a star anise. My husband pronounced it fabulous and the slightly spiced brandy flavor reminded him of mincemeat though this is not a sweet cranberry sauce.Delicious!
  • DownshiftingPOS
    18 DEC, 2008
    This is my favourite recipe and I also use Grand Marnier (or any orange based liqueur). I also add 1/4 cup. Three tablespoons just isn't enough. I don't put the spices in cheesecloth, I just let throw them in. It is the greatest cranberry sauce recipe. Don't forget to spread some on your bread for left-over turkey sandwiches - Yum, Yum.