How to Make Sugared Cranberries for Cocktails the Quick & Easy Way

December 14, 2022 by Anna-Bet Stemmet

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We want to let you in on a little secret – making sugared cranberries for cocktails is perhaps one of the easiest ways to look like a complete cocktail pro without actually being one just yet. These little frosted berries look amazing, taste lovely, and are ridiculously easy to whip up at home with minimal ingredients. That’s the newbie cocktail maker’s trifecta of awesome right there!   

What are sugared cranberries?  

Sugared cranberries in a white bowl on a dark, dusted backgrop, ready to be dropped into a refreshing cocktail

Candied cranberries for cocktails are fresh cranberries that have been soaked in simple syrup and rolled in sugar. This process turns the berries, which are naturally quite tart and low in sugar, a whole lot sweeter. It also adds a somewhat crunchy texture to the fruit, making it a fun and festive garnish for everything from cocktails to cookies, cakes, and desserts.  

How to make sugared cranberries for cocktails

How to make sugared cranberries for cocktails the quick and easy way with only three ingredients

Our go-to sugared cranberries recipe could not be simpler. You only need three ingredients and a little patience.   


  • 1.5 cups white, granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries 


  1. Mix one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. 
  2. Stir in two cups of cranberries, making sure each one is coated with the sugar water. 
  3. Roll the cranberries in loose, granulated sugar and leave it to cool in a single layer on wax paper, checking to see that it has fully set before storing. 

Tips & tricks

Our easy sugared cranberries can be used in so many different ways. Obviously, we love using it as a cocktail garnish, but it can also be strung up in garlands to use on your Christmas tree, or simply be served in a bowl as a pretty, festive snack around the holidays. A jar of homemade candied cranberries also makes a very thoughtful gift.  

Not all that into cranberries? You can also use this simple sugaring method to frost blueberries, strawberries, or blackberries. In fact, you can use it to sweeten up nuts like almonds, cashews, and macadamias as well.   

How to store sugared cranberries & how long do they last?

The best way to store sugared cranberries for cocktails is in a jar for up to one week

Our super simple sugared cranberries will keep for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in a cool place. We like keeping it in a flip-lid jar in the pantry, but you can also store it in the fridge. Just remember to take it out about an hour before you want to use it so it can reach room temperature. Unless you prefer it a little cool, of course! 

Cocktails to garnish with sugared cranberries

Non-alcoholic Christmas Bellinis

Once you know how to make sugared cranberries for cocktails, it’s time to put these pretty little globes of deliciousness to good use. Here are a few cocktails that work beautifully with sugared cranberries as a garnish:  

More inspo this way: 16 Creative Cocktail Garnish Ideas for Your Next Cocktail Night 


Frosted cranberries are fresh cranberries that have been soaked in simple syrup and rolled in sugar.

Cranberries are a very versatile fruit that is used widely in cooking and baking recipes. It can also be used to make sugared cranberries for cocktails by following a simple recipe that turns it into sweet little frosted globes that are ideal as a festive garnish.

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