The Washington Post

Crimson Crane

Crimson Crane 1.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Spirits Nov 9, 2017

Early American settlers called the cranberry “craneberry” for its pretty bird’s-head-shaped flower. But unsweetened cranberry juice is aggressively bitter and sour; it needs some powerful partners to make a balanced drink.

Here, they come in the richness of bourbon and crème de cacao, making a surprisingly good match when laced up by the right bitters. Unlike most drinks with fruit juice, we like stirring rather than shaking this, which produces a smooth, deep red drink.

To read the accompanying story, see: To make an excellent Cosmo, don’t mess up the key ingredient.

Where to Buy: We found Tempus Fugit brand crème de cacao at Ace Beverage and Batch 13, both in the District.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 servings

  • Ice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 3/4 ounces bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce creme de cacao


Chill a Nick and Nora glass or coupe.

Fill a mixing glass with ice, then add both bitters, the bourbon, cranberry juice and liqueur. Stir for 20 seconds, then strain into the glass.

Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 170

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates: 10g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 5g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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