Cranberry season is upon us. These tart and tangy berries are perfect for holiday recipes. So it’s no surprise that cranberry-spiced everything is all the rage this time of year. If you’re looking for a unique holiday mocktail recipe, you’ve come to the right place. This lip-puckering cranberry lemonade is refined sugar-free, and oh-so-tasty.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This cran lemonade is homemade using only the best quality whole food ingredients and natural flavors.
  • It’s perfect for an autumn holiday party, a summer BBQ, or even a friend’s happy hour.
  • This easy lemonade is ready in minutes, so you can spend your precious time on other things.
Up close look at bright pink iced cranberry lemonade in a clear glass cup.

Ingredients + Notes

  • Lemon juice – For ultimate freshness, use lemon juice from fresh lemons as it tastes the best!

    Alternatively, you can use lemon juice that is sold in a bottle. However, this tends to be more bitter, so you may need to offset it with more maple syrup. Opt for organic lemon juice if you decide to use bottled lemon juice. (Buying it directly from your grocery store is more cost-effective.)

    Another option is to use lemonade concentrate. If you go with this option, you will most likely want to adjust the amount of maple syrup and add less.
  • Cranberry juice – Unsweetened cranberry juice is ideal for this recipe. If you can only find sweetened, though, then that’s ok! The adjustment here is to add less maple syrup. Otherwise, it might be too sweet.
  • Water – Cold water can be better than room temperature because it can reduce the number of ice cubes needed, making it the ideal temperature for enjoyment.
  • Maple syrup – Maple syrup works great for sweetening drinks because it easily dissolves. Agave nectar is another great alternative if you don’t want to use maple syrup. Using maple syrup or another liquid sweetener also saves you time from having to make simple syrup. Who doesn’t like saving time?
  • Fresh cranberries – This part is really optional, but having some fresh cranberries floating in this non-alcoholic cranberry juice cocktail is lovely. If cranberries aren’t in season, then using frozen cranberries would work well, too, and potentially minimize the number of ice cubes you need.
Top angle view of two cups of iced cranberry lemonade with fresh sprig of mint.

Step-by-step Instructions: How To Make Fresh Cranberry Lemonade

Put a spin on classic lemonade with a bit of extra tartness from the cranberries and a splash of sweetness from some maple syrup. This cranberry lemonade recipe is perfect for any autumn holiday party, celebration, or plain weekday as the cranberry season lasts all fall. This easy lemonade recipe also makes for a great summer thirst quencher! To make this homemade cranberry lemonade:

  1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice by using a manual citrus juicer.
  2. Pour freshly squeezed lemon juice, four cups of water, and maple syrup into a large pitcher.
  3. Stir thoroughly so that the sugar dissolves and all ingredients are fully combined.
  4. Add fresh lemon slices, cranberries, or mint, and a few ice cubes to each glass.
  5. Pour your delicious lemonade into glasses and enjoy!
Two glassed and a pitcher full of vibrant pink cranberry lemonade with mint being placed in a cup.

Tips For The Best Homemade Lemonade

How to get the most juice out of lemons:

Before cutting your lemons open, try rolling them on a hard surface with your palm a few times. This rolling action, along with some slight pressure, will loosen up the juices in the lemons and allow you to extract more of the fresh juice to use in your lemonade. 

Another way to get out the juice, which works well with slightly less ripe fruit, is to heat the lemons. Either microwave them for 15-20 seconds or place the lemons in the oven for approximately 10 minutes on low-medium heat (350°F/175°C).

Then cut the lemons in half before juicing. You may need to use more ice or keep the drink in the fridge for a little while before serving if the lemon juice causes the temperature of this cranberry juice and lemonade to rise, as this drink is best served cold. 

Garnish your serving glasses:

Put your own spin on this tasty lemonade by adding fresh mint, rosemary sprigs, or your favorite herb on top.

Cranberry Nutritional Info

Cranberries can provide many important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, Manganese, vitamin E, and K1. They are also high in antioxidants and bioactive compounds that can reduce symptoms and prevent UTIs (Ooo, what a lovely way to end this recipe introduction! haha). 

Due to their slightly bitter and tangy taste, many people find cranberries too sharp to drink on their own; that is why this cranberry mocktail is an excellent way to experience this fruit’s benefits while enjoying your drink too.

Cranberry Lemonade Recipe Nutrition Information

This lemonade recipe makes six 8-ounce size servings. The calories amount to 97 per serving. The total sugars amount to 22g with a dietary fiber amount of 0.2g. The fat amount in this homemade lemonade recipe is 0.2g, equivalent to 0% of your daily value. This cranberry mocktail is an excellent source of vitamin C and B2.

Picking up a glass of pink cranberry lemonade.

More Fall Lemonade Recipes 


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Two cups of cranberry lemonade with fresh mint in the glass.

Cranberry Lemonade

  • Author: Rae Aflatooni
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


5-minute cranberry lemonade that’s easy to make and perfect for autumn and winter gatherings alike. This lip-puckering cranberry mocktail is refined sugar-free and oh-so-tasty.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries for decoration


  1. Combine freshly squeezed lemon juice, cranberry juice, water, and maple syrup into a pitcher and stir thoroughly.
  2. Pour over ice and add a few fresh cranberries if you like.


Adding fresh cranberries and mint or rosemary sprigs to the pitcher or to each serving glass can take this drink up a notch. 

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cranberry lemonade, winter drink, fall drink, mocktail, cranberry mocktail

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Recipe rating


  1. This recipe is so refreshing and just perfect for Fall.