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Best Christmas Punch for Holiday Parties

This easy Christmas punch will be the star of any holiday party! It’s refreshing, fruity, and too good to pass up.

And don’t worry, it tastes as good as it looks. While stunningly pretty and festive, it’s downright irresistible.

Homemade Refreshing Christmas Punch with Cranberries and Oranges
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It’s perfect if you love a flavorful punch that isn’t bogged down in heavy holiday spices.

Sparkling apple cider delivers a bubbly kick to keep this cocktail light and refreshing.

Get ready because this Christmas punch will have you singing carols by the night’s end!

Christmas Punch Ingredients

The ingredients in Christmas punch are light and fruity with a burst of holiday flair. And you can tinker with the color with simple swaps.

Here are the simple ingredients found in Christmas punch.

  • Ice – This punch is best served nice and chilled. I suggest buying a bag of ice so you’ll have plenty to keep this punch nice and cold all night.
  • Cranberry juice – Always use real cranberry juice rather than a cranberry juice cocktail. There are plenty of ingredients in this recipe to deliver the perfect amount of sweetness. If you opt for Ocean Spray, it’ll be overly sweet.
  • Orange juice – Keep this fruity punch nice and smooth, and opt for pulp-free OJ. Also, always use 100 percent orange juice (rather than an OJ cocktail) to cut down on the sugar.
  • Rum or vodka – The type of booze all depends on your mood. Vodka allows those ingredients to take center stage, while rum adds rich, nutty flavors. Any alcohol works with these bright flavors, like spiced rum, whiskey, bourbon, or even tequila!
  • Pomegranate juice or pineapple juice – You can alter the punch to suit your tastes. Opt for pomegranate juice (for a darker drink) or pineapple juice (for a lighter drink). Or, skip this ingredient entirely if you don’t like the flavor. It’ll taste just as good without it.
  • Ginger ale – It’s not a holiday punch without ginger ale! It’s a more difficult ingredient to track down during the holidays since it’s a staple in most holiday punches. If you don’t like ginger ale, you can also use lemon-lime soda. 
  • Sparkling apple cider – The gentle bubbles and flavor of sparkling apple cider work perfectly in this fantastic punch. For a boozy kick, add one cup of apple cider with one cup of sparkling wine instead.
  • Fresh cranberries – A cranberry garnish is a must for this fruity punch. They’ll float to the top, so every ladle full includes fresh cranberries!
  • Orange slices and other seasonal fruit – Orange slices add a burst of citrus flavor and color. But you can add other seasonal fruit.
  • Rosemary sprigs – I know, adding rosemary sounds strange for a fruity cocktail. But it adds a festive green color that looks pretty against a red backdrop.
  • Lime wedges – Lime wedges are another optional garnish addition, but bring a lot to the table. Limes add a burst of citrusy flavors, and they’re so pretty.
Christmas Punch with Cranberries and a Slice of Orange in a Glass

How to Make Christmas Punch

If you can dump ingredients into a punch bowl, you have all the skills required for this festive treat. Check out how easy this fruity Christmas punch comes together.

1. Add ice. Fill a large bowl (or punch bowl) with ice.

2. Pour in the liquor and juice. Pour the rum (or vodka) cranberry juice, orange juice, and pomegranate/pineapple juice into the bowl.

3. Bring on the bubbles. Top it off with ginger ale and sparkling apple cider. Stir gently to combine, ensuring not to disturb the bubbles.

4. Garnish it. Now, the fun part. Garnish the punch with fresh cranberries, orange slices, lime wedges, rosemary spring, and other seasonal fruit.

5. Serve. Ladle it into glasses, and enjoy!

Fresh and Fruity Christmas Punch  on a Glass

Tips for the Best Christmas Punch

Here are a few quick tricks and tips to ensure your punch is the talk of the holiday party.

  • Keep it nice and cold. This punch is best when it’s nice and chilled. Always chill your ingredients in the fridge before adding them to the punch. Also, I suggest buying a bag of ice to add more as needed.
  • Freeze your garnishes. Ice is a great tool to keep things cold, but it can water down your punch. An easy hack to keeping this punch cold (and not watered down) is using frozen garnishes. Frozen cranberries, for example, keep things cold and won’t water down your drink.
  • Make a floating ice ring. To take the presentation over the top, try a floating ice ring. It’s pretty, functional, and won’t water down your punch. Add cranberry and pineapple juice in a shallow layer in a bundt pan. Then, top it with fresh fruit and freeze. It’s so pretty and helps keep your cocktail cold all night.
Boozy Refreshing Cranberry Christmas Punch with Champagne Orange

Recipe Variations

There are so many ways to jazz up this classic holiday punch. Trust me, you’ll want to try the Christmas sorbet punch! Here are just a few ways to tinker with this punch to suit your needs this season.

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  • Christmas Punch Mocktail. Want to keep it family-friendly? To make it a mocktail, follow the recipe instructions, but skip the booze. You can also keep a selection of vodka and rum to the side to spike individual glasses.
  • Christmas Sherbet Punch. Green sherbet takes this fruity punch over the top! Instead of adding it to the bowl, I like to serve it on the side. Add a scoop to individual glasses, and top it with this fruity punch. It tastes so creamy and amazing!
  • Champagne Punch. If you don’t want to reach for the hard liquor over the holidays, champagne also works in this recipe. It cuts down on the alcohol content while delivering a fresh burst of bubbles.

Can You Make This Punch Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can make this punch the night before.

But there’s one exception: always add the bubbles right before serving. If you don’t, the punch will be flat by the time you serve it!

To Make Ahead: Pour all the juice and liquor into a large bowl (or pitcher to store in the fridge). When you’re ready to serve, add ice, garnishes, and bubbly additions.

Best Christmas Punch for Holiday Parties

Servings

20

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Calories

137

kcal

Serve this yummy Christmas punch at all your holiday gatherings! With cranberry juice, orange juice, and rum or vodka, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag ice

  • 2 cups cranberry juice

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • 1 cup rum or vodka

  • 1 cup pomegranate juice (for a darker drink) or pineapple juice (for a lighter drink), optional

  • 2 cups ginger ale

  • 2 cups sparkling apple cider (or 1 cup apple cider + 1 cup sparkling wine)

  • For garnish
  • fresh cranberries

  • orange slices

  • rosemary sprigs

  • lime wedges

  • other seasonal fruits, as desired

Instructions

  • Fill a large punch bowl with ice. Pour the cranberry juice, orange juice, rum or vodka, and pomegranate or pineapple juice (if using).
  • Carefully pour in the ginger ale and sparkling apple cider. Then, gently stir to combine.
  • Garnish it with cranberries, orange slices, rosemary sprigs, lime wedges, and any other seasonal fruits.
  • Ladle it into glasses, ensuring each glass gets some garnishes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Cranberry Juice. Use “100% cranberry” BUT mixed with other juices, like apple. Pure cranberry juice with no blends can be overly tart.
  • Make-Ahead Tip. While you can prepare the punch in advance, add the ginger ale and sparkling apple cider just before serving to retain the fizz.
  • Soda Alternative. You can use lemon-lime soda as a replacement for ginger ale.
  • Alcohol Options. This punch is versatile. You can opt for white rum, spiced rum, vodka, or whiskey. Choose according to your preference!
Christmas Punch

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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