Cranberries aren’t just for turkey sandwiches. This was our first time trying sugared cranberries ~ they were amazing. Who knew they’d be so good in a cocktail. These were easy to make and made our cocktails kinda fancy. The nice thing about this recipe is you can make the cranberries ahead of time, store them in the fridge for up to a week and use them when you’re ready for cocktailing. Of course, as a cocktail garnish they make you look like a pro mixologist. But there are a number of ways you can use them. Sprinkling them on a charcuterie board adds color and texture and delicious little bursts of flavor to go with cheeses. Decorating pies and breads has to be deliciously beautiful. And adding them to a hot cup of apple cider is crazy good. The process of making the cranberries leaves you with an added bonus ~ a delicious simple syrup you can incorporate into your cocktails, lightly drizzle over cheeses or add to a spiced bread recipe.  If you’re interested in a sugared cranberry cocktail idea, we have one below!

Makes 2 Cups of Cranberries


  • 1/3 C water
  • 2 C organic granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 nob of organic ginger, sliced (about a 2″ piece)
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 C organic cranberries (fresh is best, but frozen is okay. Just thaw first)
In a small saucepan on medium high heat, add water, 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise, ginger, and cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Stir to avoid burning. After 10 minutes remove from heat and remove ingredients, leaving just the syrup in the pan.  Add cranberries to syrup. Toss to coat each berry.  On a parchment lined sheet pan with a cooling rack on top, gently remove cranberries with slotted spoon or fork and place on cooling rack. Let cranberries cool for about 45 minutes.  On a separate parchment lined sheet pan, pour out remaining sugar. With about 10-12 cranberries at a time, toss in the sugar until completely coated. Place in glass container. Repeat until all cranberries are completely coated with sugar. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using and up to one week.
Strain remaining syrup through a sieve into a glass jar and refrigerate for up to one week. Use in cocktails! Here’s the cocktail recipe we used them in: