Cranberry simple syrup is one of the things that is CONSTANTLY in my refrigerator starting from October 1st onwards. It's just so good, so versatile, and so very festive, I have to have it on hand all the time!
Usually, I'm using this simple syrup to deliver a spin on a my favorite cocktails (like a cranberry Moscow Mule, a cranberry margarita, or a cranberry mimosa), but you can use it for so much more. Try it on pancakes, on ice cream, or even as a garnish for butternut squash soup (trust me on this one - so good).
Cranberry simple syrup is a staple of the holiday season. It's quick and easy to make, and it can turn almost any recipe into a festive celebration!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- It's so flavorful. The cranberries are perfect in simple syrup, because they bring a bitter flavor that balances out the sweet.
- It's so festive! Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit like cranberries (especially in liquid form 😉 )
- It's incredibly easy. Three ingredients, 10 minutes. That's all you need.
- It will keep for a few weeks in the fridge!
- It's very versatile.
- It makes a great host gift this time of year! Show up with a jar of this to any holiday dinner party and you are going to be the new favorite.
What is Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is a liquid sweetener, basically. It's often used to flavor cocktails. While you can buy simple syrups in many different flavors (think about all your favorite coffee drinks/chains), you can also usually easily make them yourself.
At the basic level, simple syrup is sugar dissolved in water. From there, you can flavor it however you'd like! And during the holiday season, you can get so creative. As long as you know the ratio (1:1 sugar to water), from there, the sky's the limit. Try infusing your syrup with cinnamon, rosemary, pear, sage, honey, anything you can think of!
Remember how I said there was only three? I wasn't lying. And one of them is water.
- Fresh cranberries
That's it, that's the list.
How to Make Cranberry Simple Syrup
Step 1: Dissolve the Sugar
Add your sugar and your water to a medium pot over medium high heat. Allow all the sugar to dissolve completely, and the syrup should be bubbling slightly.
Step 2: Add the Cranberries
Add the cranberries to the pot once the sugar has completely dissolved. You want to keep the heat up at a simmer, so move the dial up to medium-high.
Step 3: Let the Cranberries burst
Keeping the pot simmering, allow the cranberries to burst and release their juices. At this point, the syrup should turn that beautiful bright red color. For me, this normally takes between five and ten minutes.
Step 4: Strain
Remove the berries from the heat, and let cool. Strain into a glass jar.
The syrup should keep for up to 4 weeks in the fridge!
How to Use Cranberry Syrup
Honestly, the list goes on and on and on. Anywhere you think a sweet cranberry flavor would be good, this syrup is there for you. Here are a few of my favorite spots though:
- Cocktails & Mocktails: obviously. Definitely my number one go-to spot where this syrup disappears. You can take pretty much any classic cocktail and give it a spin by adding an ounce of this syrup. Enjoy!
- Pancakes, waffles, muffins: I really encourage you to use this syrup both in the batter itself, and as a syrup or spread on top of these treats!
- Ice cream syrup: so delicious this time of year.
- Salad dressing: this is such a perfect addition to any salad dressing - think of one that goes with a roasted butternut squash salad!
Using cranberry as a base - you can definitely whip up some different combinations of flavored syrup for added complexity.
- Orange peel
- Cinnamon sticks
- And anything else you think might be good!
Other Syrups and Cocktails to Try
Cranberry Simple Syrup
- 1 C water
- 1 C sugar
- 1½ C cranberries
- In a medium pot, bring sugar and water to a simmer.
- Add the fresh cranberries. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the cranberries have burst and released their juices.
- Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
- Strain cranberry syrup in a glass jar. Keep refrigerated for up to one month.
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