Port Wine Ham Glaze (Cumberland Sauce) Recipe

The best glaze for your holiday ham is actually a sauce that most likely originated in Germany but is most associated with England. Cumberland Sauce, one of our best ham glaze recipes, is a popular British condiment that's delicious on most meats, but especially non-white meats like ham, lamb, venison, or any other game meat. Although it can be served as a sauce that accompanies the main dish, we love to use Cumberland sauce as a ham glaze instead. Cumberland Sauces are always port wine-based and contain red currant jelly. Many, including ours, have orange rind on the ingredient list for a bit of citrusy brightness. This is a wonderful glaze because it has the most well-rounded flavor. While many others can lean too sweet, this sauce gets just the right balance of zest and sweetness. Whether you enjoy a ham on Easter, Christmas, or even Thanksgiving, this glaze will undoubtedly impress guests. The best part about this recipe is that it's so easy to make. With just one pot and a few minutes, you boil together this rich, tangy sauce that's going to become a new holiday tradition at your home. You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to one month, so you can use it on any leftover ham or to accompany family dinners after the holiday.

Best Ham Glaze
Photo: Hector Sanchez; Food Stylist: Torie Cox; Prop Stylist: Mindi Shapiro
4 cups


  • 2 1/2 cups port wine, divided

  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) jar red currant jelly

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons grated orange rind

  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Bring 2 cups wine and next 8 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring constantly; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 20 minutes.

  2. Stir together remaining 1/2 cup wine and cornstarch until smooth. Stir into hot mixture; bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and cool. Pour into hot sterilized jars, and seal. Store in refrigerator up to 1 month.

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