Breaking it Down: Cranberry Juice vs. Cranberry Juice Cocktail

By Betchy Crocker

Cranberry Juice Cocktail: This unholy concoction is mostly sugar, and mostly not really juice. Seriously, we don’t really understand why it exists at all. Let’s break down what’s in this shit:

If something is labeled cranberry juice cocktail, it means that it was sweetened with either straight up sugar or corn syrup. Why would they do this shit? Because cranberries are so tart that they honestly are not totally palatable. However, when you add a bunch of sugar to the mix, you also aren’t really helping things nutritionally. Fun fact: the amount of sugar and corn syrup in these is akin to soda, so best to avoid that shit altogether.

Cranberry Juice: Shockingly, if you buy something at the store that says “cranberry juice” and “100% juice”, that doesn’t mean it’s 100% unsweetened cranberry juice. Rather, it’s cranberry juice sweetened with other fruit juices – probably apple and grape – so that you can swallow it without gagging. These will be way tarter than a cranberry juice cocktail, so be ready for that. If you’re making a cranberry martini, use this shit.

So which is better? Honestly, when it comes down to sugar and calories, these two – cranberry juice and cranberry juice cocktail – are about the same. If you want and need seriously 100% cranberry juice with no sugar, corn syrup, or other fruit juices added, you best buy your own juicer and do it yourself. Additionally, any and all options will work if you have a gross UTI and/or need to pee a lot before a drug test, but it’s obviously better to pick the one less like soda. Just saying. 




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