Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice

Updated On: Jan 03, 2024

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice is an incredibly easy recipe and so much more delicious than buying a bottle at the grocery store. You can make your own cranberry juice with simple ingredients like fresh cranberries, agave nectar or sweetener of choice, orange juice, lemon juice, and water. It’s packed with vitamin c and so much better than store-bought cranberry juice and has much better health benefits.

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 this 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 and it’s a great way to use up the bag of cranberries?  Well here we go…let’s make it together?  This homemade cranberry juice recipe is super easy and FAR better than store-bought juice that contains artificial sweetener.

Ingredients for Fresh Cranberry Juice

You will be shocked at how easy it is to make this recipe using fresh whole berries. You can control the amount of sugar by reducing or increasing the agave nectar or by using your choice of sugar like using a sugar-free sweetener or coconut sugar.

  • Fresh Cranberries: this recipe calls for 8 cups so you’ll need approximately 2-12 oz bags of cranberries.
  • Agave nectar: this is the only sweetener used. If you’d prefer, you could use simple syrup, coconut sugar, cane sugar, sugar-free sweetener, maple syrup, or raw honey. You could also omit the added sugar and make an unsweetened cranberry juice if you’d prefer.
  • Fresh Citrus: oranges and lemons add sweet and acid to balance the cranberries tartness.

Find the printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions below.

How to Make Cranberry Juice

homemade fresh cranberry juice process 1

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

homemade fresh cranberry juice process 2

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

homemade fresh cranberry juice process 3

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

homemade fresh cranberry juice process 4

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.

homemade fresh cranberry juice process 5

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.

Blender Version

Alternatively, you can blend this in a blender and pass through a fine sieve to remove the skins and pulp.

homemade fresh cranberry juice process 6

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 1/2 cup of white sugar or 1/2 cup of honey for this.  Just taste test as you go to achieve your desired sweetness.

organic cranberry juice recipe process 7

Stir in the nectar until it’s all incorporated.

homemade fresh cranberry cocktail process 8

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.

fresh cranberry juice recipe

Refrigerate the juice and serve any way you’d like.  Cosmo anyone?  🙂

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice

Homemade Fresh Cranberry Juice is so simple to make and absolutely delicious. This recipe is a great use for cranberries when they are in season.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine All Cuisines
Servings 9 Cups


  • 8 cups fresh cranberries
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ – 1 cup agave nectar
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice


  • Add the cranberries and water to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • Use a blender if you don't have a food mill and pass through a sieve.
  • Save the solids and spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 250ºF for around 2-3 hours, or until dry.


Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 113mgFiber: 3gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 82IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.3mg
Tried this recipe? I’d love to see what you made!
Mention @farmgirlgourmet or tag #farmgirlgourmet !

More Cranberry Recipes

Recipe By:

Heather is a recipe developer and content creator living in Vancouver, Washington. She started Farmgirl Gourmet in 2006, almost 20 years ago, as a way to share recipes with friends and family. Heather is also the co-founder of Spiceology , a unique spice company, which she started in 2013. She shares family friendly recipes for easy everyday meals with a gourmet twist.


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Join the Conversation

  1. 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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  4. 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

  5. David Larson says:

    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.

  6. Cyclegirl7 says:

    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

    1. frostedflake says:

      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!

  7. prspective62947 says:

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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?

    1. mythinkbooks says:

      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!!

  11. 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.

    1. Amy 'Smith' Sargeant says:

      This sounds terrific!

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

  14. 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! 🙂

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

    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. 😉

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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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  20. Jackie Sheldon says:

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

  21. Jennifer says:

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

  22. 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!

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      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

  23. 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?

    1. I for one think everything tastes better with honey. 🙂

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

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      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).

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

        1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

          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

        2. 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.

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

  25. 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

  26. 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..

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      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? 😉 Teasing. Maybe. ha. Happy Monday and thanks for being here. xo Heather

  27. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction says:

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

  28. Katie from Katie's Cucina says:

    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!

  29. thefauxmartha says:

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

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      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. 🙂

  30. Kathy GoriKathy Gori says:

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

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

      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}

  31. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says:

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

    1. FarmgirlGourmet Author says:

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

  32. ecavalla says:

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

  33. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says:

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

    1. Johanna Friedt says:

      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

  34. Cathy @ Noble Pig says:

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

  35. Mike Chavez says:

    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! 🙂

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