Sloe Gin Cranberry Sauce
This boozy, sloe gin cranberry sauce is full of festive flavour! It’s sweet and sour and perfect served alongside a nut toast, turkey or any other roast dinner.
Festive side dishes
When you picture a “classic” Christmas dinner what do you think of? For me it is a large turkey at the centre of the table (a vegan alternative sitting next to it for me), stuffing, roast potatoes, maple glazed vegetables, braised red cabbage, bread sauce, gravy, Yorkshire puddings and cranberry sauce (of course!)
Cranberry sauce features on dinner tables across the UK, US and Canada for both Christmas and Thanksgiving. It’s now synonymous with turkey and often features on/in nut roasts or other vegetarian and vegan alternatives too (like my Christmas Nut Roast).
It is one of those side dishes that absolutely must be served at Christmas time!
Classic cranberry sauce
Traditionally cranberry sauce is made from fresh cranberries, sugar and water. It’s a super simple sauce that is both sweet and sour making it the perfect accompaniment to chicken or turkey.
Variations often include adding spices like nutmeg, cloves or star anise. Citrus fruits are often used too either in the form of juice or zest. But, my favourite way of adding a bit of extra excitement to my cranberry sauce is to add some alcohol.
If you have little ones around your Thanksgiving or Christmas table do not panic. A spoonful or two of Sloe Gin Cranberry Sauce shouldn’t hurt. Though the flavour itself may be a little too grown up for them – so best to keep it for yourself!
Now, why add alcohol to your cranberry sauce? Because it’s delicious of course! In much the same way that citrus fruit or spices add another dimension of flavour, so does alcohol.
Port is a popular choice in the UK and bourbon is common in the US. But my current favourite way of making cranberry sauce is to add sloe gin. Sloe gin has a flavour that’s reminiscent of plums or raisins. And the stones of the fruit that have been used to infuse the gin also leave a slight nutty or almond flavour behind which is delicious!
Adding alcohol to cranberry sauce is also super easy to do. Just swap out some (or all) or the liquid you would ordinarily use with your alcohol of choice. I like to use 100% alcohol and avoid diluting it with water but that’s my personal choice.
The result is a tart, boozy cranberry sauce that taste great on Christmas Day as part of the main meal, alongside cheese and crackers on Boxing Day, or as part of a leftovers sandwich in the gap between Christmas and New Year!
This Sloe Gin Cranberry Sauce can be made a week or so in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to use. Once opened, eat within a week.
Sloe Gin Cranberry Sauce
- 350 grams cranberries fresh or frozen
- 200 grams caster sugar
- 200 millilitres sloe gin
- Place all of the ingredients in to a heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Place the saucepan on to a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Reduce the heat slightly and allow to simmer until most of the cranberries have begun to burst (roughly 10-15 minutes) and a thick, sticky liquid has formed.
- Transfer to a sterilised jar and place the lid on tightly.
- All the sauce to cool in the jar – you will hear a "pop" when the jar has created an air tight seal and the sauce is cooled.
- Store in the fridge until required.
How to sterilise a jar
There are a couple of different methods you can use to sterilise a jar (or jars).
If I’m in a rush I will use a food-safe, chemical steriliser but the best method is to simply wash the jar(s) with hot, soapy water and rinse (but don’t dry) the jar(s).
Instead, place the jar(s) into your oven for 10 minutes on a low temperature (160C/320F/gas mark 3) or until they are dry. It’s as easy as that!