Cranberry Juice Recipe
Cranberries are good for you year round not just during the holidays. So when they start showing up in stores and go on sale, I usually buy more than my current needs so I can restock my freezer to use the rest of the year. Cranberries freeze exceptionally well when properly stored. They can be frozen in home freezers for 8-12 months and still retain their quality flavor and texture.
Converting Cranberry Juice to Hot Cranberry Cider
Cranberry juice is pretty versatile in that it can be enjoyed year round, with minor tweaks to suit the seasonal changes. Cranberry cider is great during the cooler months and ice Cranberry Juice over ice is ideal in the warmer months. You can even add a shot or two of vodka for a healthy cocktail.
To make Cranberry Juice: follow instructions below and make sure it's completely chilled. You may add fresh mint, lemon slices, or even some frozen berries for a fun drink.
To make Cranberry Cider: follow instructions below and but do dot chill. Add a dash of cinnamon, ground clove, or nutmeg. An orange slice for garnish completes this cranberry cider. Enjoy warm.
Homemade Cranberry Juice with Lemon and Honey
This healthy cranberry juice is sweetened with honey, a much better alternative than sugar. If you are new to the real food-clean eating world, eliminating white processed sugar is one of the easiest and simplest ways to start on that journey. There are so many better options available to sweeten your treats, you can read more about them in the post Alternative Natural Sweeteners. One of our favorites is undoubtedly honey. It's rich in minerals and nutrients and we use it often in homemade drinks, various desserts and even marshmallows.
To get the maximum benefits of raw honey, wait for the cranberry juice to cool slightly so as not to destroy the beneficial enzymes and nutrients. Generally, anything over 96 degrees Fahrenheit would change the honey's structure. But even if used in cider, honey is still much better than regular sugar.
Alternatively, you may use other mineral rich sweeteners that are not destroyed by heat such as maple syrup or coconut sugar.
In addition to honey, lemon is added to bring out more cranberry flavor and add more vitamin C to the mix. You can omit lemon if you feel the cranberry juice would be too tart for your tastebuds.
Making Juice in the Instant Pot
Note: You can test that by pressing "Keep Warm/Cancel" button and if the light toggles off and on, you can disable the "Keep Warm" function and instead it will "cancel" automatically. As mentioned, not all Instant Pots have this ability, so either check your user manual or press the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button twice to check.
For this recipe, you don't want the Instant Pot to continue to keep warm (unless making it as cider). Alternatively, you can also simply press "Cancel" once the cooking time has concluded.
Helpful Tip to Save Time
Cooking liquids in the pressure cooker can be time-consuming because of the time it takes to build up pressure. The more liquid, the more time is needed to pressurize then the then the actual cooking time begins. For this reason, I prefer to add only ½ gallon of water for the cooking time. I add the remaining water after it's strained. Doing it this way also kickstarts the cooling process.
Making Juice on Stovetop
If you don't have a pressure cooker or want to use the stovetop for whatever reason - the recipe is still just as simple. Toss everything in a medium stock pot and bring to a rolling boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully strain and then proceed with the rest of the instructions in the recipe card.
Homemade Cranberry Juice Recipe
Cranberry Juice Recipe
- 4 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cinnamon stick optional
- 1 gallon filtered water divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ to 1 cup raw honey
- Add cranberries, cinnamon and ½ gallon of filtered water to pressure cooker inner pot.
- Close lid and set to sealing position.
- Press "Manual" and reduce time to 8 minutes.
- After cooking time has concluded, turn off Instant Pot by pressing "Cancel" and allow to naturally release pressure.
- When safe to do so (check for safety valve to be down), carefully open lid and remove inner pot. Set it on a cooling rack or another safe surface to cool.
- Once cooled enough to handle, strain to remove cranberry pulp and cinnamon stick.
- Add remaining water and continue to cool juice before adding lemon and honey. Or sweeten now and enjoy as a hot cider.
- When juice has cooled considerably, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and raw honey. Stir well.
- Enjoy slightly warm as a cider or iced as juice. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 months.
The information shown is an estimate provided for your convenience by an online calculator. It should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our complete Nutritional Information Disclaimer.
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Need More Holiday Inspiration?
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Nourishing Hot Cocoa with Honey-Sweetened Marshmallows (Paleo)
Gluten-Free French Crepes Recipe (with Cassava Flour)
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This post was originally published December 2017 but has since been updated to include helpful information.
I don't have an instant pot. Could you please give me slow cooker and stove-top instructions.
For slow-cooker: toss cranberries, water and cinnamon and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Then proceed with the rest of recipe. For stove-top: bring cranberries, water and cinnamon to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and slightly simmer for about 15 minutes for all cranberries to cook down, then proceed with rest of recipe. Enjoy!! 🙂
Made this today! We've been drinking it warm since it's been snowing all day and it's soo good! My husband keeps saying how much he enjoys it so I think it's safe to say we'll be making it again soon. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome to hear, Sarah! Thanks for the sweet comment.
I found the ratios to be WAY off here. 4 cups of cranberries to a gallon of water made a very thin, flat, diluted liquid. Disappointing!! I wish I had only used a small amount of water (like 4 cups) then I could have added more after the fact to dilute as needed.
Thank you for your feedback.
Joni Gomes says
Wow so easy to make and that color is gorgeous! I have all of the ingredients right now. Will give it a try!
ChihYu Smith says
Wow ! This cranberry juice looks so good ! It will go well with many holiday dishes for sure!
Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! says
What a festive and oh so pretty holiday drink, and I love that it's made in the Instant Pot!
Tessa Simpson says
I am so impressed by this!! I have some fresh cranberries that need to used, will give this a try! Yum!
This looks so fresh and colourful - great for the festive season! Love the tips about heating raw honey 🙂
linda spiker says
I love this for the holidays! We don't drink so we always appreciate a festive drink for parties!
This is one of our favorites! And so easy.
STACEY CRAWFORD says
Oh wow, I love that this can be made in the IP and uses honey! Great idea 🙂
Megan Stevens says
I love the idea of presenting this for the holidays!! My family and extended family will so appreciate it, and it's a beautiful addition to such a pretty holiday time!
This would be SO yummy as a festive warm beverage in lieu of apple cider (too sweet for me on its own). And it'd be extra good with splash or two of good whiskey for the adults. 😉
Sounds like a plan. Apple cider is too sweet for my liking but this is perfect because the sweetness can be controlled. Thanks Elaina.
what a great holiday drink idea! I love the color and that it can be made in an Instant Pot!
Thank you Jennifer! The color is beautiful.
Wow that's brilliant! Never thought of making my own cranberry juice in the instant pot. Will be trying this soon because I add cranberry juice to my morning detox drink, but can't find a low sugar version. This is way better than the organic store option.
Thanks for sharing!
Yes - and you can control how much sweetener you use. Thanks for commenting!
Catherine Baez Sholl says
I can definitely see myself having this delicious drink cold and hot. Great recipe!
Hope you get to try it Catherine!
Looks fresh and delicious! Can you use dried cranberries and powdered cinnamon for substitution?
I have not tried with dried cranberries but please let us know if it works out for you. 🙂
Why do you have yo boil cranberries? I read in another site to put them in a blender strain them and drink it, I did and is delicious like lemonade.
Sure Maria - you are welcome to do that too. This is a completely different recipe from what you are referring to.