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5 from 1 vote

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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Two glasses of pink iced tea with mint leaves on a wooden board.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Homemade: This cran lemonade is homemade using only the best quality whole food ingredients and natural flavors.
  • Autumn Joy: It’s perfect for an autumn holiday party, a summer BBQ, or even a friend’s happy hour.
  • Quick & Easy: This easy lemonade is ready in minutes so that you can spend your precious time on other things.

Ingredients + Notes

If you love Ocean Spray Cranberry Lemonade, you’ll love this recipe! Here are the ingredients for homemade cranberry lemonade. 

  • Lemon juice – For ultimate freshness, use lemon juice from fresh lemons, as it tastes the best!
  • 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 to make it the ideal temperature for enjoyment.
  • Maple syrup – Maple syrup works great for sweetening drinks because it easily dissolves.
  • Fresh cranberries – This part is really optional, but having some fresh cranberries floating in this non-alcoholic cranberry juice cocktail. If cranberries aren’t in season, then using frozen cranberries would work well, too, and potentially minimize the number of ice cubes you need.
Two glasses with ice and mint leaves on a wooden table.

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!

  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!
Top down angle of pink colored lemonade with mint leaves sticking out.

Recipe Variations

  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice tastes the best, but 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. If you decide to use bottled lemon juice, opt for organic 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, then you will most likely want to adjust the amount of maple syrup and add less.
  • Sweetener: I like using maple syrup because it integrates perfectly into the liquid. If you don’t want to use maple syrup, agave nectar is another great alternative. Using maple syrup or another liquid sweetener also saves you time from having to make simple syrup. Who doesn’t like saving time?

    If you would like a sugar-free option, then I’d recommend stevia or monkfruit sweetener. 
Woman placing mint leaves in a glass of cranberry lemonade.

Tips For The Best Homemade Lemonade

Here are my top tips for making this copycat Ocean Spray’s cran-lemonade the best that it can be!

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.

Woman picking up a glass of red colored lemonade.

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.

Due to their slightly bitter and tangy taste, many people find cranberries too sharp to drink on their own; that is why this fresh-tasting lemonade is an excellent way to experience the benefits of this fruit while actually enjoying your drink too.

This lemonade recipe makes six 8-ounce size servings. The calories amount to 97 per serving. The total carbohydrate amount is 25.5g, with a dietary fiber amount of 0.2g. The fat amount in this homemade lemonade recipe is 0.2g which is equivalent to 0% of your daily value. This cranberry mocktail is an excellent source of vitamin C and B2.

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.

Two glasses of pink iced tea with mint leaves on a wooden board.


Is cranberry lemonade good for you?

This cranberry lemonade is a great source of riboflavin and vitamin C. It does contain 22g of sugar, so keep that in mind. If you would like to sugar content to be less, you could use stevia or monkfruit sweetener. 

Is cranberry juice good for you when you’re sick?

Cranberry juice is a great source of vitamin C, so yes, it is good for you when you’re sick. 

What can I mix with cranberry juice to make it taste better?

Sugar does the trick! You can use maple syrup, cane sugar (beet sugar), agave, stevia, or monkfruit sweetener.

Woman pickling up a glass of cranberry lemonade.

More Fall Lemonade Recipes 

Enjoy any of these tasty drinks for a great summer thirst-quencher or cozy fall mocktail.


Woman picking up a glass of red colored lemonade.
5 from 1 vote

Cranberry Lemonade

Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
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.


  • 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


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


Please read through the blog post for helpful tips and tricks!


Calories: 72kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Sodium: 10mg, Potassium: 60mg, Sugar: 16g, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 0.03mg

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