Use the same basic recipe to make either steaming mugs of spiced cranberry punch or deliciously iced naturally fermented cranberry soda. Fresh citrus and natural sweeteners add a fantastic dimension of flavor to this non-alcoholic holiday drink!
Cranberry Recipes for the Holidays
Since cranberries are a seasonal crop – only appearing once a year – we try to eat as many heart healthy cranberry foods as we can while they last.
For holiday dinners I usually make a warm cranberry sauce with added persimmon and fresh citrus. This recipe can even be canned up for preservation, which means we can enjoy cranberries all year round.
Today, we’ll be teaching you how to make cranberry punch, which is delightfully simple.
How to Make Cranberry Punch or Soda
Incidentally, this is a great project in which to enlist your kids. The red cranberries are inviting and you can have fun making a delicious mess together in the kitchen.
- 2 Medium-Sized Bag of Cranberries, 6-8 Cups
- 1 Gallon Filtered Water
- 1-2 Cups Raw Sugar*, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. of Mulling Spice, to taste
- Juice from 4 Large Oranges, to taste
- Additional 1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
- 2 Cups of Strained Water Kefir
- Liquid Sweetener like Real Maple Syrup or Stevia, to taste
To Make Cranberry Punch:
- Place the cranberries into a stock pot and cover with the gallon of water. Simmer over medium heat until the cranberry skins start to pop.
- Simmer gently for ten minutes - the water in the pot should be dark red.
- Strain out cranberry bits with a fine mesh sieve to remove cranberry skins and flesh. If you want to remove cranberry seeds, too, use cheesecloth to strain.
- Return the cranberry juice to the pot and heat and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved entirely.
- Add the mulling spice in a tea ball or tied up piece of cheesecloth to the pot and steep over low heat for at least 20 minutes. The longer the spices are in the pot, the stronger their flavor will be, FYI.
- Remove the spices and pour the cranberry juice into a large pitcher. At this point, add the fresh orange juice, mixing it in well, and then taste the punch. Does it need more sweetener? More citrus? If you've got too much of a flavor, add a little more water or some unsweetened apple juice which can have a very balancing effect on homemade punch.
- Serve this punch warm or cold.
To Make Cranberry Soda
- Follow the instructions above to make cranberry punch up to number 6 - do NOT add the fresh orange juice yet. Allow the spice cranberry juice to cool to room temperature.
- Add the additional 1/2 cup of raw sugar and the water kefir to the cranberry juice and place the whole mixture into half gallon jars with lids (or any non-metal container with a lid). Allow the kefir to ferment overnight in a warm place.
- In the morning, taste the cranberry mixture - is it fizzy enough? If not, allow it to ferment another six hours. Fermentation is a finnicky business and the speed with which is occurs depends a lot on ambient temperature, as well as the kind and amount of sugar used to feed the ferment.
- Once the cranberry mixture is fizzy enough for your taste, add the orange juice and the liquid sweetener to taste. Serve immediately on ice!
* You can use your preferred sweetener to flavor the punch or the soda. Our favorites include raw sugar, real maple syrup, and coconut sugar. If you need low carb, any of the Keto sweeteners will work great!
However, you'll need to use the sweetener your kefir is accustomed to eating in order to feed/ferment it.
If you don't have mulling spice on hand, you can use equal parts nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice tied up in a piece of cheesecloth.
You may also use a ginger bug in place of water kefir to make a naturally fermented soda.
More Natural Juice & Cranberry Resources
Heart Healthy Cranberry Recipes – Learn to Dehydrate and Make Cranberry Powder!
What is Punch Juice Made Of?
Even commercial juice is made with fruit, water, and sweetener of some kind. Sadly, commercial juice is also full of preservatives, often fake or adulterated sugars, fake dyes, and more.
When you make your own juices, you can omit all of that “junk” and create a healthy treat for your family. There’s no need to add dye to this cranberry punch because the color is already so amazing.
You can change up which kind of healthier sugar you’d like to use to flavor your punch, too. We’ve recommended several but you can also use raw honey.
Seeds in the Cranberry Punch
You can strain out the seeds and spices by pouring the punch through some cheesecloth. You may not be fond of remnants in the bottom of your cup.
I have a weirdo, organic connection to seeds and I’m always happy to consume them – chia seeds, pumpkins seeds, and even cranberry seeds. Seeds are like little pockets of life and I could sure stand to have that energy in my bloodstream!
Free Sample of Our Book!
For more delightful, inspiring projects, be sure to check out our book, The Do It Yourself Homestead. Don’t have your own copy of the book? No worries, you can find it here. With over 400 pages of homesteading how-to’s, DIY’s and information, there’s bound to be something of value to you. Would you like to learn more about the book first? Just email me for a FREE sample from the book at Tessa@homesteadlady.com and I’ll get you set up!
We hope the book will be of use to you, but don’t take our word for it.
Here’s what cookbook author and chef Stacy Lynn Harris has to say about the book:
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