Once the turkey and stuffing are stashed in the fridge, I’m already full of all of the holiday cheer. I’m also ready to spread the holiday spirit (or spirits, if you will) sometimes in the form of this holiday punch.
When I’m entertaining during the holiday season, I love to have tons of family and friends over to celebrate but I also like to be able to actually enjoy their company rather than spend my time only in the kitchen. This great punch helps me to do that.
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Instead of mixing cocktails or preparing small batches, this recipe allows me to prepare a large number of drinks that everyone can serve themselves. I can make it as simple or crafty as I want.
I also love that this is easy enough to make in a non-alcoholic version and serve separately — or I can just allow guests to add their spirit of choice.
If you’re looking for an easy way to serve a classic-style cocktail at a holiday celebration, give this one a shot.
Common Questions about Holiday Punch
What is Christmas punch made of?
There are many renditions of a holiday punch and this recipe is just one of them. You can add or change any of the juices to make it your own Christmas cocktail — the general idea is that this is a large format version of a festive cocktail to serve at holiday parties.
What is a punch?
In simple terms, a punch in the US typically refers to a large-format drink — it often incorporates an element of alcohol. In terms more specifically related to the making of cocktails, a punch is a drink that has alcohol, sugar, citrus, water, and spices.
Making Holiday Punch Ahead of Time
You can definitely make this boozy holiday punch recipe ahead of time — that’s one of the beauties of the drink. You’ll be able to take the time to focus on everything else you need to prepare for the party.
The one key to making this punch ahead is to not add the soda until you’re ready to serve. Mixing it in ahead of time means the punch will be flat instead of sparkling.
You can easily store punch prior to serving, making it ideal for when you’re expecting a crowd.
Refrigerator: Store the punch (without the soda) in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. You can keep it for a day or two beyond that, covered in the refrigerator.
Freezing: It’s not ideal to freeze the cocktail and then serve it. But you can freeze it in ice cube trays and use those cubes in future drinks with a similar flavor profile to avoid watering down your cocktails.
Tips For The Best Holiday Punch
- Add the soda at the last minute. All of the other ingredients can be mixed ahead, but make sure your holiday punch is sparkly by adding the carbonation just before serving.
- Use quality juices. If possible, get full-fledged fruit juices like pure cranberry juice instead of cranberry juice cocktail.
- Choose quality liquor. While you don’t need the most expensive liquor at the store for a punch recipe you also don’t want to ruin your gorgeous, fruity punch with a low quality liquor — if you’re not sure what to use, ask a friend or look for guidance at the store.
With just a few easy ingredients, this punch is the perfect festive touch to your table — it will pack in flavor and impress your guests whether you’re serving it at Christmas parties or family gatherings.
- Cranberry juice or cran-apple juice (chilled)
- Orange juice
- Lemon lime soda or ginger ale (chilled)
- Fresh cranberries (or frozen)
- Fresh orange slices (or orange wedge)
- Orange slices
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
There are only a few supplies you need for this recipe. If you don’t have a punch bowl handy, try using pitchers, instead.
- Punch bowl
- Large spoon
- Highball glasses (optional)
How to Make Holiday Punch
It only takes a little work to make this easy crowd pleaser that makes a beautiful centerpiece for the drinks table at your next holiday party.
- To a large punch bowl (or pitcher(s)) add the cranberry juice, orange juice, lemon-lime soda, and vodka.
- Once you combine ingredients completely, sprinkle in the cranberries and add the orange slices.
- Chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
- Once ready to serve, add in any additional cranberries or oranges and provide bowls of each for added garnishes.
- Serve the punch over ice in any style glass you prefer though a highball glass will work best.
What to Serve With Holiday Punch
Since this is the perfect drink for parties, any snacks will work well. However, here are a few suggestions of what to serve alongside a big bowl of Christmas punch.
- Cheese and charcuterie – Boards of various cheeses and meats will work well with cocktails.
- Fruits and sweet dip – This fruity drink will definitely pair well with more fruit flavors and creamy dips.
- Ham sliders – Citrus mingles well with salty ham. Serve it on a slider with cheese and a spread on the side.
- Tacos – Serve small tacos with any protein (or vegetables) to pair with this fruity punch.
- Shrimp – Serving shrimp always makes for an amazing appetizer, but it pairs particularly well with these citrus flavors. Offer a pineapple-based salsa or a spicy sauce on the side.
- Chips and salsa – Instead of traditional salsa, try a mango based sweet version.
- Skewers – Meat like beef, chicken, or pork, or seafood like salmon or shrimp skewered alongside a sweet and savory dipping sauce is perfect for a party.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
The citrusy flavors in this bubbly cocktail are enough to make anyone want more. Here are a few other reasons to make this festive punch.
- Big batch – Instead of making individual cocktails, this big batch recipe frees you up to enjoy the party.
- Easy – With just a few simple ingredients, this is an easy recipe that you can mix up in just a few minutes.
- Approachable – It looks pretty and the flavors are simple — nearly everyone will love this cocktail.
- Convenient – If you don’t already have most of the ingredients, they are easy to quickly grab at the store.
Variations and Add-ins
This sweet cocktail is a palate-pleaser which makes it a perfect standard go-to party punch recipe. However, you can also fancy up this festive holiday punch with other additions.
- Cherries – Substitute maraschino cherries for some or all of the cranberries.
- Liquor – While vodka is a good choice to use because of its mild flavor that mixes well with nearly any ingredient, you can choose other spirits like gin, whiskey, or tequila.
- Liqueur – Try adding some liqueurs with flavors like banana, peach, or coconut.
- Ice cubes – Experiment with freezing ice cubes made with the juices so that it dilutes the cocktail less. You can also freeze the cranberries or pieces of orange into the ice cubes.
- Large format – Buy large format ice molds (either spherical, in a cube shape, or even in various customized shapes) and serve drinks in shorter glasses for a cocktail club feel.
- Juices – Try adding other juices like pineapple juice or the juice of other citrus fruit (like lime juice) to change up the flavor profile.
- Garnishes – In addition to orange wedges or slices, try lemon or lime slices. Or try festive garnishes, like sparkling cranberries.
- Holiday flavor – Throw in some cinnamon sticks for a bit of seasonal flair.
- Simple syrup – Make a plain simple syrup or infuse your favorite flavors into it and add a dash to this punch to infuse sweetness and flavor.
- Soda – Substitute some of all of the soda for a different option — ginger beer is a great way to add a seasonally spicy flavor.
- Alcohol omission – Make a non-alcoholic holiday punch just by omitting the vodka.
More Great Drinks to Try
If you love this easy Holiday Punch recipe, you’re going to love these other drinks too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Cocktails Perfect for the Holidays
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Holiday Punch Recipe
- 32 ounces cranberry juice or cran-apple juice – chilled
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2 liters lemon-lime soda or ginger ale – chilled
- 1 cup vodka
- Fresh cranberries or frozen
- Orange slices
- Orange slices
- Pour the cranberry juice, orange juice, lemon-lime soda, and vodka into a large punch bowl or pitcher, stir to combine.
- Add the cranberries, and orange slices.
- Place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.
- Add additional cranberries and orange slices when serving.
- Serve over ice and garnish with cranberries and orange slices if desired.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.