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best cranberry juice?

My first chowhound query:

Who has the best bottled cranberry juice? (Those made from concentrate take two steps back.)

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  1. I am not a fanatic but I try to drink a couple ounces every day for my bladder/kidneys and have tried several of the super market brands. Taste -wise for cranberry juice alone (not mixed with strawberry, etc) I like Ocean Spray. Some of the others, like Old Orchard taste more potent but are also more tart, which I don't care for as much.

    1. I like Northland. 100% juice. No sugar added.

      8 Replies
      1. re: mojoeater

        I've tried northland, but it's a little to tangy for my taste.

        1. re: MsMel608

          Probably because they don't add sugar. Cranberries are very tart.

        2. re: mojoeater

          I also buy Northland...no sugar added and I've read that it contains 30% or 33% cranberry juice...the other brands don't say how much of theirs is cranberry.

          1. re: Val

            Nope, I was wrong...it contains 27% cranberry juice.

            1. re: Val

              Trader Joes has 100% Cranberry Juice in a jar and it is tart and very concentrated. I like to put a 4oz or so in a glass of sparkling water and a twist of lime. Delicious!

              1. re: Densible

                I buy Knudsen's 100% juice. Price varies from $4 to $6 the jar (32 ounces).
                I prefer it to the TJ's brand, which is a bit cheaper, but seems thinner.

                I tried some organic juice some time ago and it was not as good.

                I cannot drink 100% cranberry juice straight. A little bit can be mixed in with other juices, or with sparkling water as was referenced.
                Unfortunately "no sugar added" may mean that they add grape juice concentrate, which (nutritionally) is almost the same as sugar.

                I mainly use it to make a cranberry compote (using fresh, frozen or dried cranberries). I use the 100% juice as the liquid. After cooking until the berries are soft, I sweeten the mix to taste; I use a bit of sugar and a lot of Splenda. I use it as the topping for my morning yogurt.

                1. re: Joel

                  I've read that many people cannot drink it straight...so I don't mind that Northland adds apple, pear and grape juices (in that order), as long as there's no HFCS or sugar, I'm okay with it! Each to his own!

                  1. re: Val

                    Just add a little tequila, and you've got a very healthy drink!

                    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.f...

        3. Hmm. Just checked the Knudsen jar in the fridge - it's from concentrate. I still like it. Straight or mixed with other juice. Add some to daquiris and such. Try one part cranberry juice, one part (or less) of triple sec, two parts vodka or white rum. Add a squeeze or slice of lime.

          1. As far as I've discovered, Northlands (purchased at Whole Foods) has the only cranberry juice not from concentrate in Northern Virginia area. Northlands makes an organic and regular version. Either of those is definitely better than juice from concentrate, but it's not worth the price to me. Either I'm chugging down the straight stuff super fast to get the experience over with or I'm diluting it with sparkling water and orange juice. Under those conditions, from-concentrate works for me.

            I'm suspicious about the bottles that tout themselves as 100% juice. I'm not disputing that fact, but I've never found the percentage of cranberry juice in the mix. The cranberry juice cocktail combinations at least openly state they contain 27% cranberry juice. The 100% juice mixtures don't indicate how much of that juice is cranberry.

            1. This may be unseemly: I'll answer my own question.

              No one mentioned Lakewood which, I've found, is not only not from concentrate but which doesn't mix the cranberry with other fruit juices. There is but 120mg of grape-seed extract added. I think that it's the one to beat. Besides, neither Old Orchard nor Northland is available at the (persistently overrated) Whole Foods that I've visited in New York City.

              1 Reply
              1. re: 75 percent cacao

                I found your Lakewood brand at my Meijers. After much thought, I went with it. It's $12.99 for 32oz, about four times the sale price of a 64oz Ocean Spray bottle (2/$6), but it's organic, 100% fruit pressed/not from concentrate, and 100% cranberry juice. It also recommmends mixing 1 part juice to 2-4 parts water or other beverage, so the 32oz can be extended. I just mixed 1/2 cup to 8oz iced water, no extra sugar, and it's serviceable. I think of it as "medicine" so I don't mind that it doesn't taste great. Thanks for this thread!