Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine and Orange

This is my mother’s recipe for Fresh Cranberry Sauce. She made it once a year on Christmas Eve, ready to be served up on Christmas Day as an accompaniment to the turkey. I have no idea where she originally found the recipe but it was hand-written on a scrap of paper in the tattered recipe file that I inherited from her so I think it is one that she got from somewhere else rather than made up herself.

Why bother making Cranberry Sauce?

There are lots of jars of very good quality Cranberry Sauce which are available all year around and practically fill the sauce shelf in the supermarket in the run-up to Christmas. So why would you bother to make your own? These are the reasons why I make it – hopefully they will encourage you to give it a try!

It smells of Christmas

For me, Christmas smells of this Cranberry Sauce. Whenever I make it, I am transported back to my childhood and to Christmas Eve. There is something about the fruity tang of the cranberries, combined with white wine, orange and cinnamon that captures the Christmas spirit for me. If you make it, take a big old sniff when you are cooking the cranberries and tell me that I am wrong! Even if you do not have any childhood memories associated with it, making this sauce is a pretty good way to get into the Christmas cooking vibe.

It is not just for turkey (or, in fact, for Christmas)

Cranberry Sauce is the traditional accompaniment to Christmas turkey. However, as someone who cooks a Christmas dinner that has to meet a whole range of dietary choices, I know that it goes pretty well with other things too. I serve both turkey and a vegetarian option, usually some kind of pie, and the Cranberry Sauce goes brilliantly with both. Although my mother made this sauce only for Christmas and never at any other time, I make it fairly often during the winter. It is a staple of Sunday lunch and, as you will see below, any left over sauce can be used as the basis of lots of other dishes.

It is really easy to make and can be made in advance

Making this sauce is really easy. It has only a few ingredients and is very quick to make. You can serve it hot but I think it is better if you allow it cool and thicken and let the flavours develop. Therefore, I generally make it a day in advance which is great if you are preparing a big celebration meal as it is one less thing to do on the day.

It is really versatile and can be used as the basis for lots of other recipes

When I make this Cranberry Sauce, I generally leave the cranberries whole in the finished sauce. However, I know that some people find this a bit off-putting as they are used to sauces like this being smooth. If you prefer it that way, you can blend the sauce so that you get jelly with flecks of cranberry which is more like shop-bought versions.

If you have any Cranberry Sauce left over after your big meal, it will keep in the fridge for several days. It goes very well with cold meats and with vegetarian pies. It is also a brilliant ingredient that can be used to make a number of other recipes. I use it as a basis for my Cranberry Ice Cream and Cranberry Pavlova .

Other festive sauces and accompaniments

Having the right sauces and accompaniments can take a festive meal to the next level. If you are preparing a special festive meal for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year you might like to try some of my other recipes for drinks, snacks, accompaniments and desserts. They are very easy and are a great way to create a celebratory festive feast!

Loved this recipe? Checkout the Recipe Index.

Recipe for Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine and Orange

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: English


This easy make-ahead Fresh Cranberry Sauce with White Wine, Orange and Cinnamon is the taste of Christmas!


  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 170 g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) water
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh cranberries



  1. Grate the orange zest into a small pan.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, sugar, wine and water.  Stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the cranberries.
  4. Bring to the boil then simmer very gently for eight minutes until the fruit is tender and most of the berries have burst.
  5. According to taste, you can either leave the cranberries intact or blend the sauce with a hand blender or food processor so that it is smooth.
  6. Cover and set aside to cool until ready to serve.  The mixture will thicken as it cools and the flavours will develop nicely.

Cranberry Sauce


The Cranberry Sauce will keep in the fridge for two to three days.  

Keywords: Cranberry Sauce, cranberries, Christmas

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Glutarama and #Fiesta Friday with Fiesta Friday,  Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Antonia @


8 thoughts on “Fresh Cranberry Sauce”

    1. Thank you – I try and keep my recipes simple so everyone feels that they can have a go at them!

  1. What a wonderful and special recipe! It looks delicious and I love a good cranberry sauce, but rarely get homemade. Thank you for sharing at Fiesta Friday this week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.