How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a large, oval, shallow baking dish. Arrange the sweet potatoes in concentric circles in the baking dish, overlapping the slices slightly. Pour 1/2 cup of the water over the sweet potatoes. Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, or until just tender. Increase the oven temperature to 425°.
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with the bourbon. Spoon the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper and bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes, basting halfway through cooking, until the bourbon mixture is almost completely absorbed.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the cranberries, the remaining 1/2 cup of water and the brown sugar and boil over moderately high heat until the cranberries start to burst, about 10 minutes. Drain the cranberries, reserving the liquid separately.
Stir the cayenne and cinnamon into the cranberry liquid and spoon it over the sweet potatoes. Bake in the upper third of the oven, basting well after 5 minutes, for 20 minutes longer, until the potatoes are nicely glazed and most of the liquid has been absorbed. During the last 5 minutes of baking, scatter the cranberries on top. Serve hot or warm.