Red Ale Cranberry Sauce

It's that time of year again! Cranberry sauce and gravy time. They both serve opposite purposes on the plate, but I can't imagine a slice of roasted turkey without both of these butting up against it. The other funny thing about both of these sauces is that they're so often lackluster. A bitter, thick cranberry sauce or a runny, less than flavorful gravy: neither of these things needed to happen. So to help you mix it up a little this year (but not too much, because tradition tends to be the expectation over the holidays), I have these two recipes for you: Red Ale Cranberry Sauce and a The cranberry sauce gets depth and tartness from Flemish red ale, a type of sour beer. If you can't hunt it down, no worries, wine plus some balsamic vinegar does the trick. Both can be made ahead of time and are super simple, so you'll look super fancy when you bring these to the dinner this year. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup Flemish red ale or red wine plus a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 0.67 cup sugar
  • 12 Ounce fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 0.5 tsp freshly grated orange zest


  1. Bring ale (or wine and balsamic vinegar) and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add cranberries and simmer, stirring every now and then, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in zest, then cool.
  4. Be careful not to overcook, then you'll end up with a cranberry jam rather than sauce.

NOTE: Makes two cups of sauce.