This easy homemade cranberry juice is made with fresh or frozen cranberries and water. No juicer or blender needed!
I really love cranberry juice.
It's a little bit bitter and 100% delicious.
My favorite cranberry juice is just that, only cranberry juice and no added sweeteners or other fruit juices. Depending on where you shop, that can sometimes be tricky to find at the grocery store!
Happily, you don't need to buy it at the store, because homemade cranberry juice is incredibly easy and it tastes much better than store-bought juice.
And no, you don't need a juicer.
Want more juice recipes? Try making homemade ginger juice!
Why Drink Cranberry Juice?
Cranberries are packed with healthy anti-oxidants, are thought to help with urinary tract health, heart health, and more.
In short, they're fabulous little berries that deserve a place in your diet.
Should I Use Fresh or Frozen Cranberries?
Either will work perfectly.
Stock up on fresh cranberries when they're in season this fall.
Make your favorite cranberry treats (like cranberry tarts, pear cranberry sauce, Instant Pot cranberry sauce, bourbon cranberry sauce, and cranberry baked Brie), and then toss extra bags of cranberries in your freezer.
When you're ready to make juice, pull out the frozen cranberries and get started!
How to Make Homemade Cranberry Juice
Start with two cups of cranberries and five cups of water.
Add the berries and water to a large pot and bring the water to a boil.
As the berries cook in the hot water, they'll begin to burst.
Once they start bursting, use a potato masher to mash the berries and release more of their juices. I own both this potato masher and this OXO ricer-style potato masher, and either would work perfectly here.
After mashing, continue to boil the berries for about five minutes.
Next, strain out the cranberries by pouring the liquid through a mesh sieve.
At this point, you can sweeten the juice if you want to by stirring in your favorite sweetener (such as honey). If you like, you could also mix in other types of fruit juice (like apple juice) to sweeten the cranberry juice.
I recommend tasting it before sweetening though, because (in my opinion) homemade cranberry juice is a little naturally sweeter than store-bought.
Ways to Use Cranberry Juice
I like to drink the juice on its own!
It's also delicious in a glass with sparkling water (seltzer water), and cranberry juice is one of the main ingredients in the classic cosmopolitan cocktail.
This recipe is inspired by a cranberry mors recipe in the book Wild Drinks and Cocktails by Emily Han.
Homemade Cranberry Juice
- 5 cups water
- 2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen)
- ¼ cup sugar, honey, or other preferred sweetener (Optional) Or sweeten with another juice (like apple or orange juice)
- Add water and cranberries to a large pot over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.
- When cranberries begin to burst, use a potato masher to crush the berries. Boil for about 5 more minutes.
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or strain through cheesecloth.Tip: Cheesecloth will yield the clearest juice without sediment, but a fine mesh sieve will catch most of the sediment.If desired, sweeten the cranberry juice.
- To drink cold, cool to room temperature and then move the juice to the fridge to chill. (This juice is also delicious hot.)Store the strained cranberry juice in the fridge and use within a week or freeze and use within a year.