Cranberry-Cherry Bourbon Compote

Cranberry sauce isn’t everyone’s favorite, but I personally have a deep abiding love for the stuff and can’t imagine a Thanksgiving table without it.  I usually try a new recipe every year – there’s just so much you can do with it – but this recipe must might end up as a perennial favorite.  Where could you possibly go wrong by adding bourbon and cherries to anything?

We are having a small Thanksgiving gathering, so I only made about 2 cups of this compote.  Since I made it a few days ahead of time, it has been a struggle not to just eat it with a spoon.  I advise doubling this recipe so you will be assured to have enough to last until Turkey Day, and hopefully beyond.


  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 package fresh cranberries (6 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1-2 teaspoons bourbon or Grand Marnier, optional, before serving

Combine sugar, water, and bourbon in a small saucepan; bring to a boil.  Add the dried cherries and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the cranberries and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the cranberries have burst.  (I used a wooden spoon to mash the stubborn cranberries into submission.)  Remove from heat.

Stir in the chopped, toasted walnuts and orange zest.  Chill.  The flavors will meld together over time, so try to make this a few days ahead.

To serve, bring to room temperature.  Stir in additional bourbon or Grand Marnier, to taste, if you wish.  Enjoy!

Yum! Our favorite holiday…and you can see why! There’s not a lot of Thanksgiving music about, so we’ll say thanks for the great Howlin’ Wolf! First up is Live & Cookin at Alice’s Revisited featuring Wolf with the great Hubert Sumlin and Sunnyland Slim. Hypnotic slow blues, with a band that sounds like they’ve had a few…great stuff!

Next up is Wolf with a few fans in London- such as Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman and Steve Winwood on The London Howlin Wolf Sessions. Wolf suffers no fools on this hit-filled session, and they rise to the occasion.


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