If you can't get enough cranberries during the holiday season, this Cranberry Simple Syrup is for you! Use the syrup to add cranberry flavor to cocktails and mocktails or top yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream and so much more with it!
Of all the simple syrups I've made over the years (and there have been A LOT of them), the one I make the most often is definitely cranberry simple syrup.
And that sounds a bit crazy considering this syrup is pretty seasonal and I really only make it during the months of November and December.
But cranberry simple syrup is an absolute staple in my house during the holiday season and I use it in nearly every cocktail I make... Though it has plenty of other uses, too!
What is Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is essentially just water and sugar simmered together until a syrup is formed.
It's a key ingredient in a lot of craft cocktails since it's an easy way to add sweetness and flavor to drinks without compromising the consistency of the drink.
You can make simple syrups in nearly any flavor you could possibly imagine (I've made bubblegum, sugar cookie, and lavender syrups!), which means you can make drinks flavored like pretty much everything.
But there's also so much more you can do with simple syrup, from using as marinades to using as a topping on ice cream or oatmeal.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
If you enjoy all things cranberry flavored during the holiday season, you'll absolutely love the fact that this cranberry simple syrup can help you add cranberry flavor to pretty much everything!
It's easy to make and can keep in your fridge for about a month, so any time you want to add a little drizzle of cranberry sweetness to your food and drinks, you can.
Plus, it's so, so easy to make. Oh, and did I mention it makes the perfect edible holiday gift for friends and family?
The ingredients in this simple syrup are incredibly simple (hence the name!). All you need is:
- Granulated Sugar
- Fresh Cranberries
How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup
It's also an easy process to make this syrup.
Just put water, sugar, and cranberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, lower heat and let mixture simmer for about 10 minutes until cranberries have burst and mixture has thickened.
Strain mixture into a bowl, pressing down on the cranberries with a wooden spoon or spatula to extract any juice.
Keep syrup in bowl or pour into a mason jar and place in fridge to cool completely before using. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
Depending on how much your cranberries burst, the syrup might thicken quite a bit and gel up a little as it cools. Just give it a good stir and it should be ready to go!
I've been making this cranberry simple syrup for years and years and can't even tell you how often I use it during the holiday months.
I often make a double batch and then end up having to make more just a couple weeks later!
As expected, it's a sweet syrup, but also has the yummy tartness of cranberries... It's really the best of both worlds and goes well with so many drinks and foods.
How to Use
Of course, you're probably wondering what you'll do with the syrup once it's made. And honestly, the options are pretty endless! Here some some of my favorites:
- Cranberry Mojitos: I make these cranberry mojitos every time we have company for the holidays and think they're one of the best holiday cocktails ever!
Holiday Cocktails: In addition to mojitos, there are tons of holiday cocktails you could make with the simple syrup. Everything from cranberry margaritas to cranberry vodkas and so much more! How fun would it be to use in a cranberry mimosa?
Homemade Cranberry Soda: If you want to make a mocktail or a fun drink for kids, just mix some of the syrup into a glass of soda water and you have an instant cranberry soda. For extra sweetness, you can add it to Sprite or Gingerale.
Tea Sweetener: I like using simple syrups to flavor coffee and though I don't think this one would be great in coffee, it would be delicious in a lightly flavored herbal tea or green tea.
Oatmeal or Yogurt Topping: Add a little sweetness and holiday flavor to your healthy breakfast by drizzling this syrup over oatmeal or yogurt.
Pancake, Waffle, and French Toast Topping: Instead of maple syrup, top your breakfast carbs with cranberry syrup.
Ice Cream Topping: Drizzle cranberry simple syrup over vanilla ice cream (or any flavor you want!) for a deliciously festive dessert.
Meat Marinade: I haven't tried this cranberry syrup as a marinade, but I bet it would be delicious for steak, chicken, or pork. It could also work as a glaze.
Cake Moistener: Simple syrups are often used to add moistness and additional flavor to cake. This one would be yummy on vanilla cake during the holiday season.
Salad Dressing Ingredient: Add a little cranberry simple syrup into your homemade salad dressings and it would be the perfect topping for so many salads.
How to Store
You should always store your simple syrups in the fridge in an airtight container. When stored properly, the syrup should stay fresh for at least a month.
I like to store syrup in these 16 oz. mason jars or 8 oz. jars (what you see in these photos). Though note that this recipe makes slightly more than a cup, so if you use the small jars, you will have a little bit extra.
You can even get lids with spouts for the jars to make pouring easy.
How to Make More
I almost always make a double batch of cranberry simple syrup every time I make it. If you're planning on making cocktails with this at a holiday party, chances are you'll want more than just one batch.
Luckily, it's super easy to double, triple, or even quadruple.
Since the syrup is a 1:1:1 ingredient ratio, just use 2, 3, or 4 cups of each ingredient.
Variations on Recipe
I love the simplicity of this cranberry simple syrup, but there are also plenty of things you can do to jazz it up a bit. Here are some ideas:
- Cinnamon and other spices: Add a cinnamon stick and/or nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, etc. for a more fragrant syrup.
- Herbs: Add fresh mint or rosemary (or any herb you desire) to the syrup for an extra fun cocktail ingredient.
- Vanilla: Cranberry and vanilla make a delicious combination and you can easily add in a vanilla bean or a little bit of extract when you're simmering the syrup
- Fruit: Cranberries go well with so many other fruits, like apple, raspberry, and more. You can make a combination syrup with any fruit you choose!
Where to Buy
One of the reasons I love this cranberry simple syrup is because of how crazy easy it is to make. But I totally understand if you'd prefer to purchase a bottle of it instead of making your own.
Luckily, there are lots of different brands who have cranberry syrups available for purchase! Here are a few:
- 1883 Maison Routin Cranberry Syrup
- Vifranc Organic Cranberry Syrup
- Monin Cranberry Syrup
- Royal Rose Organic Cranberry Spice Syrup
- Jordan's Skinny Spiced Cranberry Syrup
More Simple Syrup Recipes
As I mentioned, I have quite a few simple syrup recipes in my arsenal and I'm always coming up with more flavors! Here are some of my favorites:
- Pumpkin Spice
- Candy Corn
- Sugar Cookie
- Candy Cane
- Pink Peppercorn
- Holiday Spice
I can't wait to keep coming up with more and more fun syrup recipes for you!
This cranberry simple syrup will most definitely add a little extra holiday cheer into your season.
Make some today and I have a feeling you'll be re-making it a week from now!
What's the first thing you'd do with a jar of cranberry syrup?
Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Put water, sugar, and cranberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat and let mixture simmer for about 10 minutes until cranberries have burst and mixture has thickened.
- Strain mixture into a bowl, pressing down on the cranberries with a wooden spoon or spatula to extract as much juice as possible.
- Keep syrup in bowl or pour into a mason jar and place in fridge to cool completely before using. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
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