Blizzard Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail

Looking for a unique bourbon drink to enjoy during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays? This slightly sweet Blizzard Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail is perfect for the chilly winter months. Makes 1 drink.

Love this bourbon cocktail? Don’t miss Cherry Bourbon Slush, Toasted Pecan Old Fashioned and Kentucky Mule!

Two Blizzard Bourbon Cocktails sit on a platter, ready for serving

For the longest time, I swore up and down that I would never be a whiskey (or bourbon) girl because the smell was off-putting to me.

Because of this mindset, it took me I was 26 to even give whiskey/bourbon a try.

Fittingly so, my first grown-up whiskey drink was at Whiskey Kitchen in Nashville, and I fell head over heels for it.

So when Winston and I were discussing what recipe to kick off The Cocktail Chronicles with, we pretty much came to a unanimous decision to start with a bourbon drink. Then after flipping through the recipes, we decided this one was calling to us. And that was a good thing, y’all.

Why I love this recipe:

The cranberry cocktail is nicely balanced, and no flavor overpowered the others. Additionally, the bourbon wasn’t too strong—a problem I have found with some drinks like this.

Winston echoes my opinion and said the drink, itself, wasn’t fruity or too sweet, which was a plus for him.

It’s refreshing and delicious, and it would make a fantastic party drink since it calls for cranberries as a garnish.

Other bourbon and whiskey cocktails: Irish Mule | Peach Bourbon Slush | Vegan Bourbon Pecan Milk Punch | Sparkling Bourbon Pumpkin Apple Cider Punch | Blueberry Mint Juleps

Looking for a unique cocktail? My cocktail recipe index has some fun ideas just for you!

What do I need to make this bourbon cocktail?

The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

In addition to these tools, you’ll need the following ingredients to make this bourbon cocktail:

  • Simple syrup, either homemade or store-bought
  • Bourbon—a good, drinkable one (and not the type that’s the bottom shelf stuff, please)
  • Unsweetened cranberry juice—not cranberry cocktail, please and thank you
  • Lemon juice—preferably fresh squeezed
  • Lemon slices and cranberries, for garnish
Two Blizzard drinks are served on festive napkins on a blue checked towel

How to make this Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail at home

Make The Simple Syrup

Please note that if you’re using storebought simple syrup, you can skip on to the mixing of the drink. 😉 I personally like to make my own simple syrup because it keeps well, and it’s awesome to have for random mixed drink making.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Do not boil.

When the sugar has completely dissolved into the water, remove from the heat and set aside. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator until time to use the syrup.

Make The Blizzard

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the bourbon, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup.

Place the lid on the cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously. I do this until the shaker is almost too cold to hold onto.

Place an ice sphere or whiskey stones into an old fashioned/rocks glass. Pour the drink over the ice cube/whiskey stones.

Garnish with a slice of lemon or a couple of cranberries, and enjoy immediately.

A silver cocktail shaker pours red liquid into an old fashioned glass with a large spherical ice cube with the text 'blizzard cocktail'

The Cocktail Chronicles

This bourbon cocktail was originally made as a part of the Cocktail Chronicles, a drink series where my husband and I made classic cocktails out of a cocktail book we own and rated them.

Here’s our rating of the Blizzard:

Five cheers! We highly recommend The Blizzard. Not only was this drink delicious, but it was good enough for us to want to sip it again!

Other Cocktail Chronicles drink recipes: Southern Champagne / Bloody Mary / Mustique / Kingston / Rum Sidecar / Tom Collins / Cosmopolitan / Cutty Sark on the Rocks

Now, who’s ready for a cocktail?

Let me show you how easily you can mix one up in the new VIDEO, then scroll down to get the ingredients for yourself!

I promise you, you’re gonna want to do this:

Two Blizzard Bourbon Cranberry Cocktails sit on a platter, ready for drinking
Yield: 1 cocktail

The Blizzard (Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Looking for a unique bourbon drink to enjoy during Thanksgiving, Christmas and other winter holidays? 100% pure cranberry juice mixes with bourbon, freshly squeezed lemon juice and homemade simple syrup to create this winter-flavored cocktail, entitled The Blizzard. Serve with frozen cranberries or ice, and enjoy this slightly sweet bourbon drink during the chilly months.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ oz. bourbon
  • 1 ½ oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
  • ½ oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 oz. simple syrup
  • Lemon slices and cranberries, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Pour the bourbon, cranberry juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup into the cocktail shaker.
  3. Place the lid onto the cocktail shaker, and shake vigorously.
  4. Place spherical ice or whiskey stones in an old fashioned glass.
  5. Pour the drink over the ice cube/whiskey stones.
  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon or a couple of cranberries, and enjoy immediately.

Notes

Unsweetened cranberry juice adds SUCH a nice tartness to this cocktail. Please try to find that in the grocery instead of the sweetened cranberry juice cocktail that's widely available.

Original recipe from The Ultimate Book of Cocktails. Adapted over the years by me. 😀 

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1 drink

Serving Size:

1 drink

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 294Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 6gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

How much did you love this recipe?

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The photos and recipe for this Blizzard cocktail were originally published on January 18, 2013. The photographs, along with the text of this blog post, were updated on November 8, 2016. A video was added on October 8, 2017.

Two Blizzards on a wooden table, surrounded by and garnished with fresh cranberries
A Blizzard is poured into a short glass from a cocktail shaker

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26 Comments

  1. Oh, Girl. This looks AWESOME. My husband and I recently started doing the same sort of thing. I got him (me) a book of over 1000 cocktails for Christmas. Our new years resolutions were to start drinking more veggie juice… oh, and to drink our way through the cocktail book. You know, just keeping it balanced. haha. I look forward to ogling your cocktail adventures. We did a whiskey sour last week. I am in love. Whiskey is divine… who knew?

    1. Can I just say that I LOVE that y’all are not only juicing… but that you’re drinking through your own cocktail book? That balancing act… superb job! And I agree: Who knew whiskey was so lovely? Certainly not me. (Glad I’m not the only one who jumped on the whiskey bandwagon a little, uh, late.)

  2. I want one right now even though I’m at work. (Oh who am I kidding, I want one right now precisely because I’m at work!)

    Seriously it sounds delish.

  3. I tried bourbon for the first time this year and I was kind of a baby about it. It burns! You make this drink look pretty and delicious though!

    1. As someone who hardly ever drinks bourbon straight, I can see why you’d kind of be a baby about it. Because it DOES burn. (Though some of the good stuff I have had the opportunity to sip did taste pretty delectable… though that’s another story for another time.)

      If you decide to try it again, give this drink a shot. It’s well-balanced, and the bourbon isn’t overpowering. Have a great Sunday, Maria!

    1. Alisa, just saw your comment. I couldn’t find the pure tart cranberry juice in my grocery store here, so I used the already sweetened juice.

  4. I just pinned this! Looks like a drink I could enjoy. My husband loves bourbon and has quite the collection, but I do not enjoy it over ice like he does.

  5. Hey! I just found your blog from Pinterest. This drink looks amazing. I’m definitely a whiskey girl! I can’t wait to try this drink this holiday season. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is quite yummy! I’ve recently started enjoying whiskey and bourbon as well and this reminds me of a New York Sour, one of my new favorite drinks. I wonder how this would be with lime juice rather than lemon? Cranberry and lime go so well togther…

  7. I’ve been looking for a new holiday cocktail and this looks amazing! Plus I’m loving that gigantic ice cube!

    1. You can definitely batch this cocktail or turn it into a pitcher, Christy!

      To make a 6-drink pitcher, here are the measurements:

      13 ½ oz. bourbon
      9 oz. unsweetened cranberry juice
      3 oz. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
      6 oz. simple syrup

      Just stir them in your pitcher together, and keep cool in the fridge until it’s party time. Serve over ice (instead of adding ice to the pitcher) so that the drink doesn’t get watered down.

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