Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice

At a recent Costco excursion, I picked up a giant sized bag of cranberries.  My thought was “I *need* this giant bag to make cranberry sauce with for Thanksgiving”.   As it turns out, I only needed about 2 cups worth of this enormous monster of a bag, which to the naked eye, didn’t even make a dent in its contents.  So I made the cranberry sauce and tossed the rest of the berries back in the fridge.  I really had no idea what I was going to use them for.  One thought was to dry them, but I never can quite master the timing for drying fruit where it doesn’t turn out like a hockey puck, so I quickly discounted that thought.  Then it dawned on me….why not make cranberry juice?  I love drinking it, so why not make it?  Well here we go…let’s make it together?  It’s super easy and FAR better than the jugs at the supermarket.

Start off with 8 cups of cranberries and 8 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.  You should hear them popping like little red balls of popcorn.

They should all be popped and starting to break down after 25 minutes of simmering.  It’s starting to smell good in here!

Juice enough lemons to make 1/2 cup.  It took 3 small lemons for me.

And enough oranges to make another 1/2 cup.  This was 1 1/2 for me.  The remaining half was added to fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.  Mmm.  Add the 2 juices to the bottom of the bowl you’ll be using to collect the cranberry juice mixture.

Use a food mill to pass the cranberry mixture through the smallest plate.  The mixture will be a little thick, don’t worry, we’re going to run it through a sieve later.  Believe me, it’s all worth it.

Add agave nectar to the cranberry & citrus mixture to your taste.  I started with 1/2 cup and ended up with 1 cup of nectar to the 9 cups of juice.  You could also use white sugar for this.  Just taste test as you go.

Stir in the nectar until it’s all incorporated.

Pass the sweetened mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  Stir to help the draining process.  Don’t mash the pulp too hard or it will pass through and your resulting juice will be thick.  Remove the pulp to a bowl and set aside.  Repeat with the remaining juice.  Save the pulp for another use.

Refrigerate the juice and serve any way you’d like.  Cosmo anyone?  πŸ™‚

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9 cups

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice


  • 8 cups fresh cranberries
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 - 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Add the cranberries and water to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. Pass the cranberry mixture through a food mill with the smallest plate. Add agave nectar to your taste. Add the 2 juices to the bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Set a fine meshed sieve over a large bowl, pass the cranberry mixture through the sieve, trying to not press the solids too much (this will result in a thicker juice). Remove solids to a bowl and repeat with remaining cranberry mixture. Save solids for another use (fruit leather perhaps). Refrigerate juice and serve.

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice | farmgirlgourmet.com
  • Roberta
    February 2, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    What about canning it? since there is lemon in it…could you water bath can jars of it for future use??

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  • doreen
    March 5, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I made cranberry juice as your recipe and I put 1 cup agave which went too sweet. I’ll use half cup next time. Love my cranberry juice

  • David Larson
    January 31, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    As someone who is watching all sugar intake I myself would not add any sweeteners or the oranges and instead use in my glasses of water all day in small amounts to cut the bitterness but give a filtered glass of water a kick of flavor. In fact that is what I am researching now. I want to get as close to natural as I can on all things I eat while keeping added sugars out of my diet as much possible. Since starting this I am losing weight and feeling I think better than I have ever even at age 60. BTW I was an app 85 + ounces a day Coca Cola aholic most of my life.

  • Cyclegirl7
    January 17, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Hello , I am excited to try out this reciepe. I don’t own a food mill. Does anyone have suggestions of what to use a replacement? Any information will be helpful

    • frostedflake
      January 31, 2015 at 6:11 am

      I have been making my own cranberry juice for years. I have a dedicated bucket that I use, because I make a large amount each time. I lay a large piece of cheesecloth over top of the bucket and secure it with a piece of elastic, around the top edge of the bucket. I pour the cooked cranberry mixture into the cheesecloth and let the juices drip into the bucket. Voila – fresh cranberry juice! I mix the remaining pulp with other ingredients and make dehydrated fruit leather. Delicious!

  • prspective62947
    January 7, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Just delicious, and so easy. I hate wasting food, especially fresh, and voila – the leftover fresh cranberries transformed into something good for us!

  • Faisal
    December 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I have been thinking about grabbing that big bag of Cranberries at Costco but a concern I have is that its not organic. I am thinking about leaving them in water with Apple Cider Vinegar for an hour or so wash away toxins or any pesticides (if any) , thoughts?

  • yolanda
    November 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    THANKS . I too brought a large bag of cranberries on sale; not knowing how to use it. But, I do love cranberries juice. I always wanted to learn how to make my virgin without sugar as you see in the stores. I will try your receipt. THANKS Yolanda

  • Joyce
    September 3, 2014 at 3:30 am

    Do you suppose a juicer would work? I’m excited about making my own juice. What if I juiced about 1/3 of the berries for added nutritional value and used 100% pure maple syrup as a sweetner?

    • mythinkbooks
      December 22, 2014 at 7:27 am

      Cranberries are so dry fresh, I don’t think they’d get enough juice with standard juicers. I have a macerating juicer & the juice extracted is still so small– seems like a massive waste. I’m going to substitute apple cider for the water though. Thanks for this amazing recipe & someone else’s idea about using the pulp to make fruit leather. Thanks!!

  • Sasha
    September 1, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    made the juice today and then used the pulp left in the sieve to make fruit leather- both came out perfect!
    I laid the pulp from the sieve out in between two layers of parchment paper and cooked it in the oven at 150 for 6 hours, it was eaten within minutes of coming out of the oven.

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  • CF O
    April 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Came out perfect, just delicious! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Suzanne
    January 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    This juice is delicious! Thanks for the recipe. I just used two tablespoons of raw honey to sweeten it, and it tastes great. I love that I can make my own juice, because since I stopped eating processed foods, the only thing I’ve been drinking is water the past few months. It’s nice to have a juice that is simple, fresh and healthy. I am going to start marking all of my own juices from now on – this goes perfect with my whole foods, plant-based lifestyle! πŸ™‚

  • Mindy
    January 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

    I just finished making a batch of this. Well, similar. I’m always far too lazy to follow the directions to the “t.” πŸ™‚

    I had a pint of cranberries in the fridge & did the math re: water & lemons (no oranges on hand, just a bazillion lemons). And to get every last drop out of those measly 2 cups of cranberries, I placed the resulting mush in a sieve/ colander thing over a pot. I kept pouring water over it and letting it drain through the mush. Eventually, I just let it soak in the pot of “cran-water.” Then I squeezed some extra lemons to taste, took a pass on the sweetener, mixed it all together (minus the mush), and came up with almost 2 quarts of juice.

    Just in time for my gall stone cleanse. πŸ˜‰

  • Estar
    January 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Amazing drink and so easy to make! I used only orange juice and added half of the cranberry water. Delicious warm or chilled.

  • Donna
    December 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Hi again! I wasn’t quite clear with the fruit leather advise! Don’t use the refuse in the food mill! I meant to say the beautiful pulp that remains after you pour the juice through a fine sieve. I just added a few tbsp. honey to take the tartness away. That is all! Hope someone tries this. Thanks.

  • Donna
    December 30, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Hi, the leftover pulp makes an awesome fruit leather! After running the berries through the food mill just spread the leftover pulp evenly onto parchment and dehydrate..I use a dehydrator but you can find info on you tube on using your oven! It was totally an experiment but turned out the best fruit leather I’ve ever tasted!

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  • Jackie Sheldon
    November 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    For Christmas, add a touch of Chinese 5 Spice to sauce or juice. Yum!

  • Jennifer
    November 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    If you don’t have a fine sieve or a food mill using a cheese cloth also works great.

  • Trisha
    October 9, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    When you boil the cranberries does it take away from their nutritional content? I have a kidney infection and don’t want to buy this sugared up cranberry juice in the stores what to make my own but wasn’t sure if I should put it through a juicer with some apples or if I should boil it this way just want to get the most nutrition as possible. Thank you!

    • FarmgirlGourmet
      October 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Tricia – boiling removes the enzymes that are naturally formed in fresh fruit (and fresh juiced fruit). It won’t remove all of the nutritional value, but they definitely won’t be a nutrient rich as fresh berries that are juiced. If you’re looking for the health benefit of the juice, I say juice with an apple. Hope you get over the kidney infection soon!! That’s no fun for sure. Best! ~heather

  • wyw
    July 6, 2013 at 2:00 am

    i just finish harvesting and cleaning my very own cranberries ..so excited to make juice with it. But i want to use honey instead of sugar, would it still taste good?

    • Mindy
      January 8, 2014 at 10:49 am

      I for one think everything tastes better with honey. πŸ™‚

  • Dustin
    June 15, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Hey just curious but how long of a shelf life does the juice have?

    • FarmgirlGourmet
      June 17, 2013 at 8:47 am

      Only 3-4 days max. It’s so delish it won’t last long. You could freeze it if you make more than you can use in the few days. Put in freezer bags and make sure you get all of the air out when sealing. Good luck – it’s delish (especially when paired with vodka).

      • Dorothy
        July 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        What do you do with the pulp? You said – Save the pulp for another use. Would you give some suggestions, please?

        • FarmgirlGourmet
          July 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm

          Sorry for the delay. You could add it to smoothies for extra fiber. It could also be good in muffins or scones, but I have never tried it. Let me know what you decide to do with it. Thanks for the note!! xo ~heather

        • Santh
          November 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

          I used it to make Cranberry Jam. I blended the pulp up and cooked it with sugar. Once you cook it down, it becomes a sticky consistency.

    • Teresa
      November 17, 2016 at 12:59 pm

      You can water bath can it for 15 minutes and it will be shelf stable.

  • Glenda
    March 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I love cranberries and will attempt this juice recipe! It sounds easy enough and delicious. I put frozen ‘store bought’ cranberries in my morning smoothie without cooking tem first……that isn’t a problem health wise do you think? Do they HAVE to be cooked or dried before you eat them??
    Glenda Ja

  • Joy
    January 14, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I did the same thing with that big bag and most of it left over .. I found the juice recipe on Pinterest and have made several batches since then. I like it thick and added little sugar..I have given away several bottles and evryone likes it so far..I’ll be making my own from now on.. Thanks for he recipe..

    • FarmgirlGourmet
      January 14, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Joy….you totally made my day girl. Thanks for letting me know that you’ve been making it and liking it. Very cool!! Now I am wanting some more too. Do you want my address to ship a bottle? πŸ˜‰ Teasing. Maybe. ha. Happy Monday and thanks for being here. xo Heather

  • Jessica@AKitchenAddiction
    December 7, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I ended up having to freeze my extras after Thanksgiving. I now know what I’m going to do with them!

  • Katie from Katie's Cucina
    December 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Ok. I will admit I totally did the same thing you did and then I went on a cranberry making extravaganza. I ended up freezing some too! I love the idea of making my own juice!

  • thefauxmartha
    December 1, 2012 at 10:43 am

    What if I don’t have a food mill? I too bought the big bag at Costco. Must make!

    • FarmgirlGourmet
      December 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Melissa – you can just press through a fine sieve if you don’t have a food mill. It will take a little longer, but you will get the same results. Hope you like it. CHEERS. πŸ™‚

  • Kathy GoriKathy Gori
    November 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    That looks amazing… Bottled stuff seems to have so much other stuff in it.. I also have tons of cranberries (hoarder)

    • FarmgirlGourmet
      December 1, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      I agree…who knows whats in it and by nature, cranberry juice isn’t clear. Its more like orange juice. So you hoard cranberries huh? You sound like me. {wink}

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
    November 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Being such a fan of cranberries, I simply need to try this!!

    • FarmgirlGourmet
      November 30, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks Anna for commenting. It’s addicting to make it yourself…I have been drinking it nonstop!

  • ecavalla
    November 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    yum! I want to reach my hand through the screen and grab a glass!!

  • Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    November 29, 2012 at 4:43 am

    I saw the huge bag at Costco and wondered about buying it. Such a great way to use it.

    • Johanna Friedt
      October 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I buy when they’re on sale, fresh or frozen they are wonderful
      I make my own cranberry sauce, use them in baking
      Now I’m going to make this juice and I’m going to try honey as a sweetener
      Thx for sharing this recipe and all of the great ideas from all the people on here

  • Cathy @ Noble Pig
    November 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    What a great idea. I just end freezing the berries for another project but this was very inventive!!

  • Mike Chavez
    November 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    This stuff ROCKS! I did the same exercise with the ginormous bag of cranberries from Costco. However, when I got to the juice stage, I had a brainstorm and added no sugar pectin and made Cranberry/Lemon Jelly! It’s awesome!

    Also, if you have berries left over, you can dip the fresh berry in caramel (ala caramel apple style) and then in almond bark for a fresh and chewy treat!

    BTW… Whipped Vodka was very good with the fresh juice! πŸ™‚