Homemade Cranberry Ginger Ale

Simple cranberry ginger ale is a probiotic Christmas tradition

Homemade cranberry ginger ale is a sour, sweet, sparkling and spicy drink. Made with the ginger bug, it is a delicious and probiotic holiday tradition.


Units Scale
  • 2 cups of water (chlorine-free)
  • 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 6 Tbsp sugar (see notes for a sugar-free option)
  • 1/4 cup ginger bug starter
  • Spices, fruit, and other flavor additions (see section above for suggestions)


  1. Mix the water, juice, and sugar in a 1-quart (1 L) mason jar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the ginger bug, and any additional flavors.
  2. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth or a coffee filter held in place with a rubber band or metal ring.  Place the jar somewhere warm and allow it to ferment for 3 to 5 days. Give it a good stir each day. 
  3. Once it is bubbling, strain the liquid into a bottle. Allow it to ferment for a further 3 to 5 days to build up the carbonation. Taste a little bit, and add more sugar if needed. Most of the initial sugar will have been used up by the ginger bug, so it may be quite tart.
  4. Once the cranberry ginger ale is fizzy, store it in the refrigerator and enjoy! Ginger bug sodas are best if consumed within four weeks of bottling.


  • To make brewed ginger ale, you need to catch a ginger bug starter. It usually only takes 5 to 7 days as ginger (particularly organic ginger) naturally ferments.
  • For a refined sugar-free option, use apple juice instead of water. It will provide enough natural sugars to feed the ginger bug. You may want to add 1 Tbsp of white sugar right before bottling to help with the carbonation.
  • Bottled ginger ale will continue to ferment and build up carbonation, even in the fridge.  Use plastic pop bottles or swing-top bottles that are designed to handle carbonation.

Keywords: probiotic, ginger ale, ginger beer, thanksgiving, Christmas, winter, sugar-free, holiday, gluten free, vegan