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This cranberry simple syrup recipe is bursting with tart flavor and bright red color! Use it for mixing up brilliant cocktails and mocktails.

Cranberry Simple Syrup in jar with spoon
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Got cranberries? If you don’t want to make sauce or bake bread, try cranberry simple syrup! This bright red syrup is the perfect use for fresh or frozen cranberries, making a sweet tart sweetener that adds a zing to cocktails and mocktails. Use it to bring a zippy flavor in whiskey sour or martini, or simply add bubbles to make a highball mocktail. Or use it as a grenadine substitute in a Shirley Temple or Tequila Sunrise!

Ingredients for cranberry simple syrup

simple syrup is a liquid sweetener made with equal parts sugar and water. It’s often used for sweetening drinks like cocktails and mocktails, made by simmering sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. For a cranberry simple syrup, it easiest to cook down the cranberries first, then strain them to make the “water” part of the simple syrup formula. The ingredients are:

  • Fresh or frozen cranberries: Fresh berries are best, but frozen cranberries cook down easily and are available all year long.
  • Cinnamon stick: The cinnamon adds a unique flavor layer to this syrup.
  • Granulated sugar: You can make simple syrup with other types of sugar, but granulated sugar is best here. Brown sugar or demerara sugar have a darker brown color, which muddy the brilliant color of the berries.
  • Water
Cranberry Simple Syrup in jar with spoon and cocktail strainer in background

Tips for making cranberry simple syrup

Cranberry simple syrup is easy to whip up, but it’s slightly different than some of our other simple syrup methods since it uses whole fruit. Here’s what to know:

  • Simmer the cranberries with water until they break down, then strain through a fine mesh sieve. This creates a sort of “cranberry water” that works as substitute for the water in a simple syrup. (This infuses the berry flavor without making the syrup too thick, which can happen if you simply cook down the berries with the sugar.)
  • Whisk in the sugar and refrigerate. The residual heat dissolves the sugar and makes a thick bright red syrup.

Storage info

This homemade cranberry simple syrup lasts up to 1 month refrigerated. The flavor is freshest when it’s first made, but this syrup holds up well over time.

Cranberry Simple Syrup with spoon coming out of jar

Can you use it as a cranberry syrup, too?

You bet! No need to keep this to only drinks. Use it to drizzle over a stack of pancakes, waffles, or French toast, or add it to yogurt for a tasty yogurt parfait.

Drinks to make with cranberry simple syrup

This cranberry simple syrup has a subtle sweet tart flavor and a hint of nuance from the cinnamon. Use it to make craft cocktails, mocktails, or other drinks. You can also use it as a grenadine substitute in classic cocktails or an alterative to raspberry syrup in drinks. Here are some ideas:

This cranberry simple syrup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Cranberry Simple Syrup

Cranberry Simple Syrup


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: ¾ cup 1x

Description

This cranberry simple syrup recipe is bursting with tart cranberry flavor and bright red color! Use it for mixing up brilliant cocktails and mocktails.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (or frozen)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine the cranberries and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer. Place a lid on slightly ajar to prevent popping cranberries, simmer for 8 minutes, occasionally mashing the cranberries with the back of a spoon. When cranberries are fully pureed into the water, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve until you have ⅓ cup cranberry water. Pour into a bowl and cool for 2 minutes, until cooled slightly.
  2. Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before using.
  3. Store refrigerated in a sealed container for 1 month.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!