I have used sugar to sweeten things and it usually works.

Lemons - Yes Limes - Yes Blueberries - Yes(they get tart when they are overripe and most overripe blueberries are used for blueberry juice) Grapefruit - Yes

However with cranberry juice the sugar dissolves but doesn't sweeten the juice. A few more tablespoons of sugar, no change.

I have had sweetened cranberry juice before when I was young and I don't like cranberries or pomegranates by themselves. However cranberry pomegranate always is sweet(which I can't believe since sour + bitter does not usually equal sweet).

So is there something in cranberry juice that changes the sugar so that it is inactive or something(I use just sugar and juice, no water or extra acid or anything else)?

I just can't sweeten cranberry juice for some reason. I think it has to do with the difference in the acid(but then again blueberries have a different acid than citrus fruits and blueberry juice can be sweetened just fine). Is it a difference in the acid or what?

  • 1
    You can definitely sweeten it. Try adding a pinch of salt to suppress some of the bitterness and see if that helps? – SourDoh Apr 17 '16 at 3:40
  • Cranberry juice is veeery powerful, you need a lot of sugar to make it sweet. If you keep adding you'll get there. – GdD Apr 17 '16 at 9:57
  • Sugar is good at covering up a sour acid taste. If you want to eliminate it, you have to raise the pH with something like calcium hydroxide. – Wayfaring Stranger Jun 3 '18 at 23:23

Examining a commercial version (a not HFCS commercial version, for a wonder) it's mostly water, "27% cranberry juice", sugar, and "flavors."

So if you have 100% juice, you'll probably have something the consistency of a syrup by the time you have enough sugar to make it sweet. The widespread solution is to dilute with water - thus, "cranberry juice cocktail"

There is nothing about the chemistry of cranberry juice that makes sugar not work - you just need more of it, since the juice is very sour.

Note that the sugar is 34g per 240 ml (of which, if they are to be believed, 65 ml is cranberry juice) so on a rough basis for every two units of juice, there's slightly more than one unit of sugar. Unless you have only 6 tablespoons of juice, 3 tablespoons of sugar is not going to get you to "sweetened."

  • 4
    Agreed, though there might be one special thing still - I think cranberries are a bit more astringent than most fruit, which is harder to cover up with sugar. – Cascabel Apr 17 '16 at 4:09

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