Kid-friendly Crimson Cranberry Soda Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Crimson Cranberry Soda

Recipe: Crimson Cranberry Soda

Crimson Cranberry Soda

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Brent Hofacker/
prep time
5 minutes
cook time
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Crimson Cranberry Soda

A fizzy drink that’s as pretty to look at as it is tasty to drink!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • garnish :

    to decorate a dish or plate of food to enhance its flavor or appearance, using things like parsley, fruit slices, or edible flowers.

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Pitcher
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife


Crimson Cranberry Soda

  • 3 C sparkling water
  • 1 C cranberry juice (your choice of flavor and sweetness)
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, sliced (optional garnish)
  • 2 C ice (optional)


Crimson Cranberry Soda

combine + whisk + taste

Measure and combine 3 cups sparkling water, 1 cup cranberry juice, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and add a little extra sugar if necessary (especially if using unsweetened cranberry juice).

pour + garnish

Pour the drink into cups, add ice if using, and garnish each with a slice of lemon.

Surprise Ingredient: Cranberry!

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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.


Let's learn about England!

Photo by Tomsickova Tatyana/
  • England is ruled by a Monarch, a Prime Minister, and a Parliament. Windsor Castle is the oldest royal castle in the world that is still being used by the royal family.
  • England is on the island of Great Britain, along with Wales and Scotland. It is also part of the United Kingdom, which consists of those three countries and Northern Ireland. 
  • Did you know that there's no place in the UK that is more than 70 miles from the sea?! 
  • Stonehenge is a construction of immense stones that the early inhabitants of what's now Wiltshire, England, began building around 3100 BCE. The final sections were completed around 1600 BCE. Scientists are still not sure how or why they built it. One theory for its purpose is an astronomical observatory. It is very popular with tourists.
  • Other popular tourist spots in England include the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament (Palace of Westminster), the Roman Baths and the city of Bath, and the Lake District.  
  • London, the capital city, wasn't always called that. In the past, its name was Londonium.
  • England took part in the briefest war in history. They fought Zanzibar in 1896, and Zanzibar surrendered after just 38 minutes!
  • There have been several influential English authors, but perhaps the most well-known is William Shakespeare, who wrote classics such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet.
  • English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web.
  • The British really like their sandwiches—they eat almost 11.5 billion a year!

What's It Like to Be a Kid in England?

  • Most schools in England require students to wear a school uniform. 
  • Sports kids play include football (soccer), cricket, rugby, tennis, netball (similar to basketball), and rounders (similar to baseball). They also play video games, watch the telly, and ride bikes or skateboards.
  • Boxing Day is a unique holiday kids celebrate in England the day after Christmas, December 26. The official public holiday is the first weekday after Christmas if Boxing Day falls on a weekend. When the English created the holiday, it was the day to share the contents of alms boxes with the poor. Today, it is mostly a day off from school and work, although some small gifts may be given out to family and employees, or collected to give to the poor.
  • English kids may have different names for everyday items also found in the United States. For example, a kid will call his mom "mum." Their backyard is a "garden." A big truck is called a "lorry," and the trunk of a car is a "boot." Biscuits in the US are closest to the British "scones," and cookies in England are "biscuits." A TV is usually called a "telly." Bags of chips are referred to as bags of "crisps." French fries, like those from a fast-food hamburger place, might be called "fries," but if they are thicker, like the ones typically served with batter-fried fish, they're called "chips" (fish and chips). Finally, kids call the fish sticks they might have for lunch "fish fingers.

Lettuce Joke Around

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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