Kid-friendly Cranberry Orange Italian Bubbles Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Cranberry Orange Italian Bubbles

Recipe: Cranberry Orange Italian Bubbles

Cranberry Orange Italian Bubbles

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Elena Zajchikova/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Equipment Checklist

  • Blender (or food processor)
  • Citrus juicer (optional)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Strainer
  • Pitcher


Cranberry Orange Italian Bubbles

  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1/4 C fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 2/3 C water
  • 2 C sparkling water


Cranberry Orange Italian Bubbles

add + blend

Add juice from 1/2 orange, 1/4 cup cranberries, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2/3 cup water to a blender or food processor. Blend until puréed.

strain + pour + enjoy!

Pour the cranberry mixture through a strainer to catch the seeds! Then, pour the strained mixture into a pitcher, add 2 cups of sparkling water, and stir. Pour into cups and enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Cranberry!

back to recipe
Photo by Olivier Le Queinec/ (Cranberry Bog)

Hi! I'm Cranberry!

“I love being me because I'm very popular during Fall holiday feasts. Yes, I can be sour, but sugar sweetens me right up, and cranberry sauce is a tart and tasty culinary partner when added to turkey (and leftover turkey sandwiches!). I also like hanging out with my orange friends to make delicious scones or muffins."


  • The cranberry is indigenous to North America. The Narragansett people, an Algonquian tribe who called the berries "sasemineash," may have introduced them to Massachusetts Bay colonists in the early 1600s. 
  • The Native Americans created what you could call the first energy bar, "Pemmican," made from a mixture of pounded cranberry, ground deer meat, and fat tallow. They also used cranberries to make a dye.
  • Several 17th-century books from New England reference cranberry recipes. A couple of the books describe cranberry sauce, and a cook's guide mentions cranberry juice. 
  • Many years ago, American ships carried cranberries to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency, for the same reason English sailors added limes to their diets.
  • Eighty percent of cranberries grown worldwide are harvested today in the United States and Canada. 
  • Cranberries are primarily grown in five states: Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. 
  • About 80 million pounds, or 20 percent of the cranberries harvested per year, are gobbled up during Thanksgiving week! 
  • There are approximately 4,000 cranberries in one gallon of cranberry juice! 
  • The word "cranberry" is from the mid-17th century (by a North American Puritan), from the German "kranbeere" (crane-berry).


  • The cranberry plant is an evergreen shrub or trailing vine from the Ericaceae (heath or heather) family that includes the blueberry, huckleberry, rhododendron, azaleas, and heathers. The berries are part of the genus Vaccinium. 
  • Contrary to common belief, cranberries do not grow in water. Instead, they are grown on constructed beds surrounded by dykes, evenly layered with sand, and close to a water source. The cranberry farmers flood these "bogs" in Fall so that the cranberries can float to the surface when they are ready to harvest and in Winter to protect the plants from the cold temperature. 
  • Cranberries are small, light, airy, round, and red. Each cranberry has four air pockets in the middle that allow it to float.
  • Cranberries are sometimes called "bounceberries" because the tiny air pockets make them bounce and float in the bogs when they are ripe! 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • When selecting fresh cranberries from the grocery store, where they usually come in a bag, look for firm, plump berries that are red to dark red. Avoid ones that look shriveled, feel soft, or have blemishes. 
  • You can buy fresh cranberries from September through January, and you can freeze fresh cranberries until ready to use. Frozen, canned, and dried cranberries are available year-round at the grocery store.
  • Store cranberries in their sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for one to two months, check the berries' condition now and then, and remove any that appear to be decaying. They can last about one year in an airtight container if you freeze them.
  • Cranberries are both sour and bitter. They taste astringent! This is due to tannins, the same compound found in red wines. So fresh cranberries are usually sweetened and juiced, cooked, or dried before eating.
  • Make an easy cranberry sauce by heating a bag of fresh or frozen cranberries with 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 tablespoon of water, and some orange zest. Simmer the sauce over low heat until the cranberries pop for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Fresh cranberry salsa is delicious. Mince cranberries in a food processor and combine with lime juice, fresh ginger, minced jalapeno, cilantro, sugar, and chopped green onions. Serve with chips!
  • You can add cranberries to smoothies and bake them into puddings, cakes, and pies. You can also make jam, relish, and sherbet with them. 
  • Cranberries are especially delicious paired with pork, almond, orange, peach, cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, apple, mango, pint, and pear.  


  • Cranberries are a moderate source of vitamin C. Vitamin C protects our blood vessels and heart and helps us maintain healthy immunity during cold and flu season. In addition, the body uses vitamin C to absorb iron, another essential nutrient.
  • They also have a moderate amount of manganese. It is a mineral and essential trace element involved with the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose. Manganese also helps bone formation and works with vitamin K in blood clotting.   
  • Cranberries contain A-type proanthocyanidins (plant compounds) that help keep bacteria from binding to cell walls. These compounds are why cranberry juice is associated with preventing urinary tract infections.


History of Italian Soda!

Photo by Aedka Studio/
  • Italian soda was developed in the United States, not Italy! It was first made by Torani, a San Francisco, California company, which makes flavored syrups. 
  • The founders, Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre were Italian immigrants who introduced their syrups to the San Francisco North Beach neighborhood in 1925. They created an Italian soda by mixing their syrups with sparkling water (also called carbonated or soda water).
  • You can easily make an Italian soda at home with flavored syrup (typically fruit-flavored), sparkling water, and ice. If you add half-and-half or heavy cream to the concoction, it becomes a cremosa or Italian cream soda. The Italian word "cremoso" is "creamy" in English.

That's Berry Funny

Why do oranges wear suntan lotion? 

Because they peel.

The Yolk's On You

What’s the difference between a pirate and a cranberry farmer? 

A pirate buries his treasure, but a cranberry farmer treasures his berries.

The Yolk's On You

Why did the cranberries turn red? 

Because they saw the turkey dressing!

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