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How to Make an Easy Cranberry Simple Syrup Recipe

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Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Leah Hall

This Cranberry Simple Syrup is a great tart and sweet syrup, perfect for the holiday season or all year long. A great addition to seasonal cocktails and mocktails!


Flavored simple syrup can give unique ways to elevate your favorite cocktails and making simple syrup at home couldn’t be easier. We love to make flavored and infused syrups based off of the simple base recipe of homemade simple syrup. A one to one recipe, meaning equal parts 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water and you have simple syrup!


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Red cranberry simple syrup in bottle, cranberries around bottle

This cranberry simple syrup is tart and bright on your taste buds, plus adds some great pink color to holiday cocktails. With just three ingredients a cranberry simple syrup is easy to make and perfect for the holiday season. Or, make our Spiced Cranberry Syrup for even more holiday flavor! Make a Spiced Cranberry Champagne cocktail with that syrup!

Red cranberry simple syrup in bottle, cranberries around bottle

Add cranberry simple syrup to your favorite cocktails like our Christmas Old Fashioned (Cranberry Old Fashioned), Cranberry Moscow Mule, Cranberry Mezcal cocktail, or even a cranberry white hot chocolate, perfect for bringing holiday spirit.

pouring pink cranberry simple syrup through red funnel into glass bottle

We hope you already make your own simple syrups, but if you don’t read on for tips!

cranberries floating in syrup in copper saucepan

Ingredients for Cranberry Simple Syrup

Obviously, traditional simple syrup is made with simple ingredients. In this case, we are just adding cranberries to make this great liquid sweetener.

  • Cranberries – You can use fresh cranberries or you can use frozen. Either is fine, the frozen ones may take a bit more time in the saucepan.
  • Water – this one is self explanatory. Just remember you need an equal ratio of sugar to water.
  • Sugar – granulated sugar is what we use in this recipe. But, we have some other recommendations and ideas for you below if this isn’t something you want to use.

Red cranberry simple syrup in bottle, cranberries around bottle

How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup

To make this homemade syrup, combine sugar, water and cranberries in a small saucepan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sugar has dissolved, the cranberries have popped, and the syrup has thickened slightly. Yes, they will pop like popcorn!

cranberry simple syrup being made in copper saucepan


cranberry simple syrup being made in copper saucepan

When the syrup is pink, strain out the cranberries (you can use the cranberries on dessert or make a jam) using a fine mesh sieve. Make sure to press down on the cranberries using a wooden spoon or spatula to extract any juice that will give your seasonal flavor! Then, pour the simple syrup into a mason jar or other airtight container and drop to room temperature. The syrup will be thicker as it chills.

pressing down on cranberries in sieve with wooden spoon


Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Try some other flavored simple syrups we have made like cinnamon syrup, apple cider simple syrup, lemon syrup or rosemary simple syrup which is great for winter cocktails, too!

stirring cranberries floating in syrup in copper saucepan

This cranberry simple syrup is a staple for us during the holiday season, because of the tartness from the berries, as well as extra sweetness.

How to Use this Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • Holiday Cocktails: There are tons of holiday cocktails you could make with this homemade cranberry syrup. Cranberry margaritas, cranberry vodkas, cranberry mojito or even a cranberry French 75. It would even be lovely in a Cranberry Mimosa for New Years or Christmas morning. But, I will also argue that this syrup is great all year long, not just at Christmas or in holiday drinks!
  • Mocktails: Homemade Cranberry Soda – just mix some of the syrup into some seltzer water, club soda, ginger ale or lemon lime soda and you have great non-alcoholic drinks. Also works great in iced tea or hot herbal tea.
  • Breakfast Topping – add a little sweetness and holiday flavor to your favorite breakfast food. Just drizzle cranberry syrup on top of oatmeal or yogurt. Also great for pancakes, waffles or French toast.
  • Dessert – this syrup makes a great dollop on top of ice cream or cake moistener. Perfect on vanilla ice cream or vanilla cake!

sugar being poured into copper saucepan

Tips & Tricks

  • Storage – cranberry simple syrup can be stored in a clean glass jar for around a month in the fridge. It also can be frozen. If preserved in the freezer it can last 6 month. Just pour into a jar and store in the freezer, then pull out when you need the whole recipe. Or, freeze in ice cube trays, freeze and then place in a freezer bag to take out the individual amount you need for a recipe in the coming months.
  • Gifts – simple syrup in general makes great hostess gifts and housewarming gift ideas! Place your homemade simple syrup in a pretty jar or glass bottle and wrap with a bow, and you have a great simple and tasty present!
  • Other Flavors – if you want a different kind of cranberry syrup, we have some ideas for you! We have a spiced cranberry syrup with great baking spices in it, (we used a cinnamon stick, whole cloves and orange) but if you want something else different: add in some sliced ginger when you put in the cranberries for a festive flavor, or some other spices could be peppercorns, allspice, star anise or just toss in a bag of mulling spices. Some other ideas could be subbing apple cider for water for an Apple Cranberry Syrup, Orange Cranberry Syrup with pieces of orange zest, Lemon Cranberry with slices of lemon zest (or lime!), or just add some vanilla extract or vanilla bean for a Vanilla Cranberry Simple Syrup. Herbal ideas could be rosemary or mint.
  • Sweetener – again, we used regular granulated white sugar for this recipe. But, brown sugar can be used which will have a more of a butterscotch flavor. You can also use maple syrup, honey or make it sugar free with Stevia. Also note that brown sugar will make the syrup darker. And make sure to not overcook the syrup or you will end up with cranberry sauce, not syrup.
  • Cranberries are also perfect as garnishes on cocktail, and make such pretty additions like our Sugared Cranberries!
  • Leftover Cranberries – if you want to do something with the cooked cranberries when they are done infusing try making a small bit of jam with them, or grate some fresh orange zest over them for a small bit of homemade cranberry sauce.
  • More Cranberry Flavor – if you want this simple cranberry simple to have even more of a punch with sweet cranberry flavor, replace the water. The easy way to do this would be subbing the water with cranberry juice, and maybe a little bit less sugar. Or, like we said above in “other flavors” to make an apple cranberry syrup, try apple cider, or orange cranberry with a combination of sugar of choice, orange juice and orange zest. No matter what you use, if you have things other than juice in the recipe make sure to strain it with a fine-mesh sieve.

Red cranberry simple syrup in bottle, cranberries around bottle

This cranberry simple syrup will add a little extra holiday cheer into your season!


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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

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Other Simple Syrup Recipes

Red cranberry simple syrup in bottle, cranberries around bottle
Yield: 1 1/4 cup

Cranberry Simple Syrup

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Infusion Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

This Cranberry Simple Syrup is perfect to sweeten holiday cocktails, or all year long. Make this pretty pink syrup that is tart and sweet!


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


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  2. Bring to a strong simmer, cook until cranberries start to pop. Take off of heat and let infuse and cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain out cranberries using a fine mesh strainer. Pour syrup into mason jar.
  4. Cool and store in fridge for up to 1 month.


Make sure to not boil or simmer too long or you will have cranberry sauce!

Press down on cranberries while straining to get juice out of berries.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 ounce

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 21Carbohydrates: 5.5gFiber: .2gSugar: 5.2g

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