The 8 Best Ways to Make Cranberry Juice Taste Better

Published Categorized as Ingredients, Journal Tagged

Homemade cranberry juice is not only full of amazing nutrients and antioxidants, but for any women out there, you will know that it is the number one cure for sorting out UTIs.

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It is quick and easy to make at home, however it doesn’t usually taste as great as the store-bought cartons. This is because homemade cranberry juice does not typically contain sugar if you are trying to keep it as natural and healthy as possible, whereas companies love to pump their cranberry juice with artificial sweeteners.

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Well, if you love the idea of having your own homemade cranberry juice, but just wish you could make it taste slightly less bitter, then this is the article for you!

Today I am going to look at the best eight methods to getting that deliciously sweet cranberry juice, whilst trying to keep it as healthy and pure as possible.

By the end of this article you will be drinking cranberry juice not only to help your immune system, but also because you will simply enjoy it!

cranberry juice

1. Add Sugar

The clear and easy solution to sweetening any homemade juice is to add sugar. Whilst this completely counteracts the health benefits, it does make it taste absolutely wonderful.

To sweeten up your cranberry juice with sugar, simply add 5g of sugar for every 100ml cranberry juice. You can probably get away with less, but if you are already throwing in a bunch of sugar then you may as well ensure it tastes amazing!

You have to make sure you warm the cranberry juice first, as this will help the sugar to dissolve. If not, you may be left with a gritty texture and eventually the sugar will all sit at the bottom of your drink.

Alternatively, you can add the sugar in during the process of making the juice. At the point where you are cooking the cranberries, you can also add in your sugar and it will dissolve a lot more easily, This can be difficult in terms of measuring the correct amount of sugar, so it is better to add a little at a time and taste test until you reach the desired level of sweetness.

Although sugar is the ultimate fix to anything with a bitter taste, many of you will have turned to this article to find a way to enjoy your cranberry juice without impacting the health benefits of it. So now I will go on to tell you a few other alternatives you can use!

2. Drizzle in Some Honey

Honey is a fantastic and natural alternative to using sugar. It is delicious and sweet, and if you use raw, natural honey then it contains many of its own health benefits that will add to your cranberry juice. 


Unlike sugar, honey should be added to the juice when it is cool. Many people mix honey into hot drinks, but this does in fact ruin some of the beneficial properties of honey.

Honey has a very delicate flavor, which matches perfectly with the bitterness of the cranberry juice and doesn’t overpower it. Even for those who are not the biggest fan of honey, combining it with the fruit juice is a perfect way to even out both ingredients.

The light flavor of honey means that it is not a noticeable addition to your juice, it just slightly brings the flavor to a more enjoyable level.

3. Mix it with Another Fruit Juice

Not only is store-bought cranberry juice usually filled with additives, but it can often come combined with other fruit juices. Cranberry and raspberry is a very popular flavor.

This is because the flavors of the other fruits help to counteract the bitterness of the cranberries, and can bring a much sweeter taste. This can easily be done at home without any processed juices being added.

Add apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, pear juice – whatever juice you want! Most of them will work nicely and will help to balance out the flavors.

Lemon or lime juice are particularly good for this. They both help to enhance the flavor of the cranberries but at the same time take the bitty edge out of them as well. Think of lemon or lime juice adding a sweet, colorful addition to your cranberry juice.

mix orange with cranberry

Ginger ale is another great alternative, so long as you enjoy ginger. (By the way, do you know if ginger is a fruit or a vegetable?) Although it is not a fruit juice, the sweetness helps to boost the flavors of the cranberry juice and to neutralize everything going on. Ginger is a great antioxidant as well, so again it provides many health benefits, assuming you are using a natural and healthy type. 

If you do add multiple juices it is important to keep in mind that your juice may alter in color. Whilst the flavor improves, the appearance may go slightly brown and so this is something to consider.

4. Use Sweeteners

Sweeteners are a popular replacement for sugar, particularly for those on a diet. Many of your store-bought juices may contain sweeteners instead of sugar to help keep the calories down.

These work great to sweeten your juice, however they may not be the best alternative for those looking to keep their juice as natural as possible.

Not only are they a less-natural alternative, but they can also have the opposite effect if too much is used. If you go overboard with sweeteners in your juice they can actually cause it to taste even more bitter rather than sweet!

Similarly to sugar, they should be added a little at a time and to be tasted throughout the process before adding more.

5. Diluting the Juice

If you love the taste of cranberry juice but your homemade version is too bitter, you can always try diluting it and using it as more of a cordial.

Cordial is extremely condensed and so it provides water with a much stronger taste. However, if you combine your cranberry juice with some water or sparkling water then you are still taking in the nutrients of the juice but with a much milder taste.

You can also add it to soda water or tonic water and enjoy it in the evening. Tonic works as a delicious mimx, but of course it has its own flavorings and contents which is important to consider when choosing this method for consuming your cranberry juice.

Whilst this will not completely mask the tartness of your cranberry juice, it will make it a lot less strong but remember it will not bring a sweetness to the juice.

Alternatively you can also try mixing with coconut water. This will bring a slightly sweeter taste, but again it depends on if you like coconut and it is also important to make sure that you are using pure coconut water if you want to keep the nutritional value of the drink.

You can even add some ice to make it extra refreshing!

6. Sprinkle in Salt

Whilst this may seem very odd when trying to sweeten your cranberry juice, salt can actually help to reduce the bitterness. Salt works by suppressing some of the bitter flavors in the juice and this natural releases some of the sweetness.

You need a tiny amount of salt, as you do in most things. Too much salt will overpower the juice and ruin it, so again, a tiny pinch at a time. You will not need more than this per glass of cranberry juice but if making a big batch of it then you might.

Whilst this is not as sweet as adding sugar or honey, it is a very quick and minimal way to make cranberry juice sweeter.

It can even make your cranberry juice taste slightly bland because of how much it neutralizes the bitterness with the sweetness, so be careful of this!

7. Cut Up Some Cucumber

Cucumber is often used to flavor water and cocktails in a very subtle but fresh way. It is the exact same when it comes to your cranberry juice!

Both cucumber and celery can be used to help mellow out the stronger tastes in many drinks. If you do enjoy cucumber or celery infused water, simply imagine that flavor with your cranberry juice.

cucumber water

Not only does it help balance out the sourness of the cranberries, but it also brings more nutritional goodness without the worry of anything unhealthy coming with it as both cucumber and celery are extremely low calorie additions.

For best results, you should infuse water with celery or cucumber and then use this water to dilute the cranberry juice! It creates a really tasty and fresh drink to enjoy in the sun!

8. Make Smoothies

Finally, if you are really insistent on getting the goodness from your cranberry juice into your diet but you cannot get past the bitter taste of it, you can throw it into a smoothie and you won’t even notice it is there!

This is also a great way to mix up your flavors and have a different drink each day without having to skip out the cranberry juice!

Adding your favorite fruits with a bit of milk or yogurt can be a really healthy way to enjoy not only cranberry juice, but any juices that you don’t usually enjoy drinking solo.

Pineapple and bananas are great for hiding the flavors of other foods. I often also add spinach to mine and not only is the cranberry juice hidden, but you cannot taste the spinach either but still receive all of the goodness from it!

pink smoothie

How to Make Cranberry Juice Taste Better – A Wrap Up

So, there are many ways to enjoy your cranberry juice without having to impact the healthy benefits of it.

Whilst sugar is a great addition, it is not the most healthy. So perhaps some of the other ingredients will better suit your diet.

Whether you are adding in other juice, mixing it in with a smoothie, balancing the flavor with some salt, or simply diluting it with some tonic or cucumber water, there is a way for just about anyone to have their daily dose of cranberry juice!

Before you know it, you will be drinking more cranberry juice than ever before and it won’t seem like such a chore anymore!


Is cranberry good to drink?

Yes. cranberries contains a lot of nutrients and antioxidants that can help build your immune system. Pure cranberry juice can be a fantastic cure for UTIs. Be careful to make sure that your cranberry juice is pure and does not contain other sweeteners and sugars that may counteract the health benefits.

By Shay

Hey, I’m Shay - an amateur, yet unforgivingly enthusiastic, cook who loves to develop and grow recipes that are easy and accessible for all. For as long as I can remember, food has been a massive part of my life and it goes without saying that I have my mother to thank for this. From baking scones with her at the age of four, to learning how to knead my own bread at the age of eight, I finally developed a deep passion for healthy, vegetarian cooking with a side of extraordinary cake decorating too! My love for food and my desire to continue learning about food is something I will never bore off, and so to be able to share my experience with others and continue creating new skills and recipes for people to learn and practice with me is a real dream come true. Writing and editing a food blog not only allows me to continue to grow my interest in food, but it is also teaching me so much everyday. I have come to realize that food really is a never ending venture of excitement and new trends and so if there is anything you believe you can teach me in return then please do get in touch - I would love to hear from you! The world of cooking really is a world like no other, so what are you waiting for? Let's get cooking!

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