In a medium saucepan, add the water, sugar, cranberries, spices and fresh orange zest. Stir to combine the mixture.
Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Stir every so often. This helps dissolve the sugar for a smooth simple syrup.
Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and steep for another 10 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Place a bowl under a fine-mesh sieve and strain the mixture. Everything in the bowl is your cranberry simple syrup. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.