This Cranberry Simple Syrup is a great way to infuse holiday cocktails with sweet cranberry flavor and a bright red color. Read on to learn how to make this recipe for cranberry syrup and different ways to use it.
Making this Cranberry Simple Syrup
Simple syrups are one of the easiest ways to add a sweet pop of flavor to a variety of recipes. We especially love using them for homemade cocktails.
Cranberries are one of winter’s most popular flavors, inspiring desserts, drinks, and more! In this recipe, I’m infusing a traditional simple syrup with fresh cranberries to use during the holiday season.
Tools Needed to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup
You’ll need a few kitchen tools to prepare this cranberry syrup. Here’s what I recommend having on hand before getting started:
- Medium Saucepan — to cook the cranberry simple syrup in.
- Measuring Cups — to measure the simple syrup ingredients.
- Wooden Spoon — for stirring the mixture in the saucepan.
- Fine Mesh Strainer — to strain the cooked cranberries out of the syrup after cooking.
- Funnel — for mess-free pouring of the simple syrup into the jar.
- Mason Jar or Glass Bottle — to store the homemade cranberry syrup.
What’s in this Cranberry Simple Syrup Recipe?
This delicious cranberry syrup only requires 3 simple ingredients to make. It couldn’t be simpler!
- Fresh Cranberries
- Granulated Sugar
For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions to make your own simple syrups, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.
How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup
This homemade cranberry simple syrup recipe could not be easier to make. Here’s a quick overview of the process:
- Combine the water, sugar, and cranberries in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool completely before straining the cranberries out.
The above is simply a quick summary of how to make this recipe. Check out the full recipe in the free printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.
Tips for Making Your Own Cranberry Syrup
- Dissolve the sugar completely so you don’t have any sugar crystals remaining in the syrup. Sugar will dissolve on its own in the water eventually, but it takes longer this way and is easier to make sure it has all dissolved while the liquid is hot.
- The basic recipe for simple syrup is an equal ratio of sugar to water. If you need a sweeter syrup, you can increase the water and sugar ratio to 1:1.5 or 1:2.
- Cool completely after making. Simple syrup is incredibly HOT after simmering. Pouring the boiling syrup into a glass jar can cause the glass to crack. Instead, remove the simple syrup from the heat and cool completely at room temperature before storing.
- The best way to strengthen the cranberry flavor is to allow the simple syrup to steep with the fresh cranberries – allow the mixture to cool completely in the saucepan. Cranberry flavors will continue to infuse while the mixture is warm.
Cranberry Simple Syrup FAQs
Got questions about how to make this simple syrup infused with tart cranberries? Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions. Feel free to leave any other questions in the comments on this post and I’ll respond with answers.
Can I use frozen cranberries?
Yes! Frozen cranberries work great when you’re not able to find fresh in the grocery store.
Katie’s Tip – stock up on fresh cranberries during the holiday season and freeze them so you can enjoy their festive flavor year round. Check out how to freeze cranberries for details
Would it work to make this dried cranberries?
No, it would not. Dried cranberries are very sweet and would not yield the same results.
What type of sugar should I use?
For a this cranberry simple syrup recipe, you you should use granulated sugar or whole cane sugar.
Can I make sugar free cranberry simple syrup?
I haven’t personally tested this recipe using a sugar substitute, but if I were to experiment with a sugar-free cranberry syrup, I would try using Monkfruit 1:1 Sugar Replacement in place of the regular sugar.
Can I add other ingredients with the cranberries?
There are tons of different ways you can enhance your homemade cranberry syrup. Try adding spices or fruit zest to the water as it simmers for different variations:
Cranberry Syrup Variations to Try
- Orange Cranberry: Add fresh orange zest from one orange to the simmering liquid.
- Cinnamon Cranberry: add 1 – 2 cinnamon sticks to the pot white the mixture simmers and steeps.
- Spiced Cranberry: add warm spices like whole cloves, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, and fresh nutmeg.
- Chai Cranberry: add your favorite chai tea bag to the liquid while it steeps.
- Rosemary Cranberry: add a sprig of rosemary.
For more ideas, try checking out The Flavor Bible to find more ingredients that pair with cranberries. If you experiment with the flavor, please leave me a comment below!
How should I store cranberry simple syrup?
This cranberry syrup needs to be refrigerated so it doesn’t spoil. I like to store it in an airtight container, such as a glass bottle or glass jar. If the container has a small opening, a funnel is helpful for pouring.
Make sure to let the cranberry syrup cool completely before transferring it to a storage container.
How long does cranberry simple syrup last?
Homemade cranberry syrup lasts for a week in the refrigerator or a year in the freezer.
Ways to Use Cranberry Syrup
Our most most common use is in our holiday cocktails. Here are a few other ideas:
- Sweeten a mug of tea: cranberry syrup would be delicious added to a mug of black tea.
- Iced tea: too hot for a mug of tea? You can use this cranberry simple syrup in iced tea, too. Try adapting this raspberry iced tea into a cranberry iced tea.
- Sweeten Christmas cocktails: if the flavors pair well together, use cranberry simple syrup instead of plain simple syrup in your cocktails, try subbing it for the raspberry syrup in this Cosmo recipe, experiment with making your own cranberry syrup cocktail, or try my Cranberry Orange Whiskey Sour.
- In cakes or cupcakes: Brush the tops of the cupcakes or brushed between cake layers with the syrup to keep them moist.
- Mocktails: kids love to make cranberry syrup drinks! Add some to a glass with seltzer water and slice of orange for a fun holiday mocktail.
Try This Simple Cranberry Syrup
Next time you’re looking for a way to add delicious cranberry flavor to your holiday season cocktails, give this Cranberry Simple Syrup recipe a try!
Did you make this easy recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite way to use it was!
On Instagram? Share your photo and tag me @goodlifeeats #goodlifeeatsrecipes. I’d love to see your photo how you used this cranberry syrup!
More Homemade Simple Syrup Recipes
Made with just three ingredients and ready in 10 minutes, homemade Strawberry Simple Syrup can be added to your favorite cocktails, drinks, and more!
Vanilla syrup is easy to make and has so many different uses! Perfect if you’re looking for a homemade vanilla coffee syrup recipe
Get Delicious Recipes via Email
Did you love this recipe for cranberry simple syrup? Sign up to receive Good Life Eats Email Updates and never miss another recipe!
Don’t see what you’re looking for here? You can always head over to check out the recipe index to look for more recipes.
How would you use this gorgeous cranberry syrup?
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Fresh Cranberries
- In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cranberries. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn heat off and let cool to room temperature. Strain into a jar using a fine mesh strainer and a funnel.
- Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 53Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy. This provided information is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.