How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup

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This easy homemade cranberry simple syrup recipe is perfect for cocktails and drinks, especially around the holidays! This is a flavorful, liquid sweetener made with fresh cranberries. It’s great for Thanksgiving too!

A jar of homemade cranberry simple syrup - cranberry simple

Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener that can be used in all sorts of drinks and cocktails. Cranberry simple syrup has a delicious cranberry flavor that is perfect for the holidays. It can be used in all sorts of drinks, cocktails, mocktails, cranberry juice, and even seltzer water.

Homemade syrups are also used in baking and cooking like cranberry glaze or even a drizzle over cranberry muffins or gingerbread pancakes. The possibilities are endless!

All About Cranberries

Cranberries are a popular superfood that grows on long rows of vines in marshes or bogs. The marshes are flooded as part of the harvesting process. You can read more about this interesting harvest here!

Cranberries have many health benefits too. They’re a great source of vitamins and antioxidants.

These little berries play a big part in our traditional holiday food and decor! Cranberry sauce is a staple dish for Thanksgiving, as it goes great with turkey!

For Christmas, we use it in cocktails and desserts. We even add it to wreaths, tablescapes, and tall vases. It’s a very versatile berry!

A small saucepan with fresh cranberries, water and sugar.

Since we use it so often in cocktails, we made a simple cranberry syrup that’s an easy addition to gin and tonics, vodka sodas, holiday punches, and more! It’s super simple, using only three ingredients and about 15 minutes!

One of my favorite cocktails that uses cranberry simple syrup is our cranberry Moscow mule. It’s so flavorful with sugared berries and orange zest!

How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup


  • Sieve
  • Small saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Jar to store the simple syrup


Fresh Cranberries – Use fresh cranberries to make this syrup.

Sugar – Granulated sugar or raw sugar will work when making simple syrup.

Water – This is used to dilute the sugar and berries making it syrup.

Sauce pan with sugar and water and a cup of fresh cranberries a wooden measuring cup.


  • In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and fresh cranberries.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring, so the sugar doesn’t burn.
  • Boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat to medium and let the cranberries pop and soften and the sugar melt.
Boiled cranberry simple syrup on a small sauce pan - cranberry flavor, spiced cranberry simple syrup
  • After about 15 minutes, the cranberries will be totally soft, and the texture will be syrupy.
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jar with a large opening or a bowl.
  • Press down with a wooden spoon to get all of the juice and flavor out of the cranberries and through the sieve.
Cranberry syrup in a sieve - spiced cranberry simple syrup

How to Store Cranberry Simple Syrup

Store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator. Sterilize a glass bottle or container by pouring boiling water into the bottle and dumping it out before adding the syrup. 

Pro tip – Mark the bottle with the date, so you know how long it’s been in there. You can just use a piece of tape and stick it to the bottom of the jar.

We love using these bottles to serve it in… they’re only $6! They look nice with an herb inside the bottle too.

Homemade cranberry simple syrup being pushed through a sieve into a glass jar.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is simple syrup used for?

It’s made to sweeten cocktails, coffee, desserts, and other dishes. It’s a liquid sweetener made from water and sugar. It can dilute the sweetness, and you can alter it to make different flavors.

What sugar should I use?

Raw sugar is the best to use. You can also use cane sugar and granulated sugar too. You can also make a simple brown sugar syrup for winter cocktails or cakes.

What is a simple syrup made of?

It’s made of equal parts of sugar and water. It’s a diluted sweetener used in cocktails and some desserts. You can use different variations and if you need a thinker simple syrup, try rich simple syrup. Rich simple syrup is a 2:1 ratio, that’s 2 parts sugar to 1 part water.

How long can you keep simple syrup?

It should be stored in the refrigerator and will last about 1 month. It can go bad after a month, so always make sure you smell it before using it.

How can you tell if the simple syrup has gone bad?

The syrup will start to grow mold and will also look a little cloudy and separated. This means it’s not good and should not be consumed. Make another fresh batch to use

Cranberry simple syrup recipe in a glass jar on a marble table. -

More Simple Syrup Recipe

Honey Simple Syrup

Gingerbread Simple Syrup

Hibiscus Simple Syrup

Holiday Cocktails You’ll Love!

Easy Cranberry Punch

Spiced Apple Holiday Punch

Gingerbread Moscow Mule

Godiva Truffle Eggnog

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Cranberry Simple Syrup

An easy homemade, fresh cranberry simple syrup that's perfect for cocktails!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 387kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries


  • In a saucepan combine sugar, water, and fresh cranberries. 
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring so the sugar doesn’t burn.
  • Boil for a few minutes, then turn the heat to medium and to let the cranberries pop and soften and the sugar melt.
  • After about 15 minutes the cranberries will be totally soft and the texture will syrupy.
  • Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jar with a large opening or a bowl.
  • Press down with a wooden spoon to get all of the juice and flavor out of the cranberries and through the sieve.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Sodium: 7mg | Sugar: 100g
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cranberry simple syrup with text.

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1 thought on “How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup”

  1. I’m wondering what the heat is for cooking. In the second step you say bring mixture to a boil at medium heat but then you say turn it down to medium to let the cranberries pop. I’m assuming one of these is wrong, which one is it?


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