Christmas Punch

Drinks for one, and you have a nice evening to yourself. Drinks for two or three, and it’s a happy hour. A WHOLE BOWL OF SPARKLING CHRISTMAS PUNCH? We have ourselves a party!

Easy, refreshing, DELICIOUS Sparkling Christmas Punch for a crowd! With champagne, rum, cranberry, and apple cider. Not to sweet, spiked, and so red and festive! Recipe includes nonalcoholic option.

Bubbly, festive, and a total snap to stir together, this easy Christmas Punch is light, refreshing, and not at all overly sweet. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and would be a lovely, useful centerpiece at any holiday party because:

  1. It’s simple but beautiful, with the right amount of holiday sparkle,
  2. Guests will love it (and love you for making it!), and
  3. Crowd control. Think of this punch as your party’s water cooler. Guests will flock wherever it’s placed.

Side note: Wouldn’t it be fun if, just for one day, water coolers in offices across the country distributed Christmas rum punch instead of water? Dear CEOs everywhere, you have my idea for this year’s office holiday party.

Sparkling Christmas Punch with rum, champagne, cranberry, and apple cider. Easy, refreshing, and perfect for a crowd!

I usually shy away from big batch punch recipes because they tend to be overly sweet. Not this Christmas Punch.

Making Christmas Punch

Fresh ingredients such as pure cranberry juice, sparkling wine, and orange slices keep the punch’s flavor light, bright, and dangerously easy to sip.

Rich, spicy ingredients such as rum (or brandy if you prefer), ginger ale, and apple cider give the punch a more dynamic flavor and ensure that it tastes like a real grown-up drink, not a juice box.

Together, this combination of the light and bright with the deep and spicy makes this Christmas Punch dangerous. It’s soooo yummy and easy to sip, and because it takes minutes to make, you can quickly (perhaps too quickly) continue refilling the bowl as the night goes on.

Easy Christmas Rum Punch. Refreshing and delicious! Not to sweet and perfect for a crowd.

While the bubbles in this Christmas Punch make it festive to sip, my favorite part about its looks are the fresh cranberries floating on top.

A moment for state pride, if I may: Wisconsin is the nation’s #1 grower of fresh cranberries. (Yep. We bypassed Massachusetts years ago.) I learned as much as last year when I visited a local cranberry bog and even waded into the water!

Sparkling Christmas Punch with rum, cranberry, and champagne. A holiday party favorite!

If you are looking for a drink recipe for your next party—or for a good excuse to throw a party, period—I hope you’ll give this Christmas Punch a try. It combines a retro holiday feel with a fresh modern taste, and I know your guests will love it as much as we do!

How to Make Christmas Punch with Alcohol:

  • Just follow the directions below. You can use rum or brandy. I preferred this as a Christmas rum punch, but if you’d like something a little sweeter, brandy is a good option.

How to Make Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch:

  • I haven’t tested this Christmas punch without alcohol, but if you’d like to experiment, you can swap in a sparkling cider for the sparkling wine and omit the rum.
  • The punch will be much sweeter with the sparkling cider, so in order to help temper it, I’d suggest adding extra cranberry juice and ginger ale to taste.

Recommended Tools to Make Sparkling Christmas Punch

Easy, refreshing, DELICIOUS Sparkling Christmas Punch for a crowd! With champagne, rum, cranberry, and apple cider. Not to sweet, spiked, and so red and festive! Recipe includes nonalcoholic option.
4.96 from 25 votes
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Christmas Punch

Yield: 20 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
An easy, refreshing recipe for Sparkling Christmas Punch for a crowd! With champagne, rum, cranberry, and cider. Not too sweet and perfect for parties!

Ingredients

  • 1 large bag of ice
  • 5 cups 100% cranberry juice* — 40 ounces, NOT cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 bottles very dry sparkling wine — (750 ml bottles) , such as champagne, cava, or Prosecco (I used a brut Prosecco)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups diet ginger ale — (12 ounces) (from 1 can or poured from a liter bottle)
  • 1 1/2 cups dark rum or brandy — (12 ounces)
  • 2 oranges — thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

Instructions

  1. Make sure all of the ingredients are well chilled. Fill a large punch bowl with ice. Top with the cranberry juice, sparkling wine, apple cider, ginger ale, and rum. Stir gently to combine. Top with the orange slices and fresh cranberries. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • *IMPORTANT NOTE ON CRANBERRY JUICE: Look for a juice that is marked 100% cranberry but that has a blend of other juices, usually apple, added (it is confusing! This is the one I used). If you purchase 100% pure cranberry juice without any other fruits used, it may be too tart for your taste. If this happens, you can sweetened the punch to your liking by stirring in 1/4 to 1/2 cup simple syrup.
  • Nutritional information assumes no ice melt. Since realistically, some ice will melt into the glasses, the numbers are a bit high for 6 ounces. Feel free to use myfitnesspal.com or another service if you need a more precise estimate.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas Punch, Easy Punch Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 glass, about 6 ounces) — Calories: 137, Sodium: 18mg, Carbohydrates: 13g, Sugar: 12g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

 

Easy, refreshing, DELICIOUS Sparkling Christmas Punch for a crowd! With champagne, rum, cranberry, and apple cider. Not too sweet, spiked, and so red and festive! Recipe includes nonalcoholic option.

Easy, refreshing, DELICIOUS Sparkling Christmas Punch for a crowd! With champagne, rum, cranberry, and apple cider. Not too sweet, spiked, and so red and festive! Recipe includes nonalcoholic option.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

88 comments

  1. I just love a good punch for a Holiday party! This one is so festive and of course, my favorite color! Cheers!

  2. This looks awesome! My friend, Betsy, and I got together today to prepare your fabulous Perfect Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie recipe! We made two batches (went through Step 3) and froze the “disks.” We will get together next week to defrost, roll out, cookie cutter them, bake, frost and decorate them. We made them last year and, truly, they are PERFECT!  I will make us a mini-batch of this punch to enjoy while we complete our annual Christmas cookie baking! Thank you, Erin, for another great recipe! Happy Holidays!

  3. This looks so festive! The perfect way to wash down all those cookies! Lol. And makes being a hostess so much easier! 

  4. I love your water cooler idea. :) And this punch, so perfectly sparkly for the holidays!

  5. so you’re saying I need to come for happy hour then, right? YES! A festive punch with wine = SOLD!!

  6. Heather S Christo Reply

    YAY for Christmas Punch- my favorite way to celebrate a holiday!

  7. GIMME ALL THE PUNCH!!!!

  8. Such a pretty punch!

  9. Punch is definitely one of my party favorites!

  10. I always like trying new punch recipes during the holidays! This is one is sure to be a HIT!

  11. I have been looking for a holiday drink and this is it!! Love it!

  12. Hi,
    I want to make this for a drink dispenser, not a bowl. Should I still add of the ice to it? I don’t want it to get watered down…
    Thanks

    • Hi Catherine, you could mix up the punch in the dispenser without the ice and then when serving just pour it into individual glasses over ice. That way it won’t get diluted sitting in the dispenser. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  13. Gorgeous pictures. I made these punch for the super bowl party and it was a crowd favorite. I’m also gonna pin this post on my Pinterest board my followers will love it. Thanks for sharing, Erin!

  14. Made this for my cousin’s Christmas Eve brunch and it was the hot of the party! Had to make a few refills. We had to use frozen cranberries since all of the fresh ones were sold out, but it was still delicious and refreshing and since I doubled the rum, and used Goslings, it packed quite the punch! I also added some cinnamon sticks to the punch bowl and used more garnish/stirrers, it was so yummy!! Love your recipes, thanks for sharing!! 

  15. This made my family Christmas extra celebratory and special. Thank you!

    • Jennifer, I’m so thrilled to hear that! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try at such a special occasion and for taking the time to report back!

  16. I made the Christmas Punch twice over the holidays.  Both times I made half the recipe which was great.  I used Ginger beer .  Thanks again for another great festive recipe!

  17. Definitely, your punch is awesomeness! This is a great recipe Erin, as you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely, in fact, have made it again since. Thanks for sharing!

  18. That punch is so Instagrammable and adorable! As you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely! Thx, Erin for sharing!

  19. Is ok to use regular ginger ale and not diet? I hate diet taste.

  20. Can I use Cranberry Wine instead of cranberry juice?

    • Hi Donna! I’ve never tried. If the cranberry wine is sweet, I’d probably stick with cranberry juice to make sure it isn’t too sweet. You can always play around though and see what you like!

  21. Do you think this would taste just as good without the rum/brandy? Only using champage

    • Hi Theresa, it would change the taste, but I think it could still be good. You can adjust the ratios of the other ingredients too if you’d like.

  22. Wee love this it’s SO festive and easy to make!

  23. My family loves this punch fir Christmas! 

  24. How fun! I’m going to serve it at my holiday party this weekend.

  25. Perfect for the holiday! So bright and perky!!

  26. Perfect holiday punch! So festive and so yummy!

  27. Such a festive and fun recipe for the holidays. Will definitely make it again.

  28. I love how festive this is, perfect party drink!

  29. It was a hit with my family! I can’t wait to make it again for Christmas!

  30. Really pretty recipe for our Christmas party, thank you!

  31. This is the party I want to be at! I love a good punch!

  32. What can I replace the cider with?

    • Hi Sophia! The apple cider is pretty essential to the punch. You could try plain apple juice, but it won’t have the same warm flavors. I’d recommend sticking with cider for this one!

  33. I am always looking for a non-alcoholic beverage to serve. This went over perfectly!

  34. Can you replace the rum with vodka? 

    • Hi Natalie! I love the rum here because its spiciness adds to the holiday feel of punch, but if you like, you can use vodka instead. I hope you enjoy the punch!

  35. Hi Erin! Have you ever tried this punch warm? Do you think it would work served warm rather than over ice? It may be cold here on the day I’m planning to serve it. Thanks so much! It looks amazing!

  36. Hi Erin! It looks and sounds great. Can you serve it warm rather than chilled?
    Thanks! Happy Holidays!

  37. This looks like a lovely punch.  Is Captain Morgan rum ok or should it be plain dark rum?

    Thank you!

  38. Great recipe. 

  39. We made this and it was a major hit. Will be saving it for future years! Thank you for sharing.

  40. Super excited to make this for the whole fam tomorrow! Any recommendations on brand of rum?

  41. making this tomorrow. Should I use an alcoholic apple cider like somersby? Or just non alcoholic regular apple cider?

  42. Want to try this tomorrow…Christmas Day.
    Can this be made ahead of time?…
    Like 1 day in advance…minus the ice??

    • Chris, I didn’t check comments on Christmas Eve as I was with family, but I hope you all enjoyed this! For next time, you can add everything but the sparkling wine/ginger ale so that it stays bubbly.

  43. If this is made in advance will it still taste the same?

    • Mo, you can mix in everything but the ginger ale and champagne in advance. The bubbly liquids you want to add just before serving so that the punch does not go lat. I hope you enjoy it!

  44. So the ingrednta listed aren’t discriptive enough- I made this punch with cranberry juice which was not cocktail- but a natural cranberry as that is what I assumed it was. Not a SINGLE person at our party touched this punch. So dissapointing and a waste of money buying a bowl and everything to make this punch. Be carful when make it and try it before if you aren’t sure which juice or ingredients to make. 

    • Hi Britt! So I did actually make this with 100% cranberry juice as the ingredients note, but it can vary quite a bit depending upon your taste and how sweet you like your drinks. If it is too tart for you liking, next time you can add simple syrup. Regardless, I know it is so disappointing to try a new recipe and not have it come out (especially at the holidays!) so I’m so sorry that was the case here.

  45. I was so excited to find this recipe but  we used 100% Cranberry juice from Trader Joes and our punch was kind of sour or tart tasting! 😞 I also purchased 100% cranberry juice that was the ocean spray  brand but noticed in fine print it was a blend of juices and much sweeter but wondering if that’s where we went wrong? What is the best Cranberry juice brand etc to use? Also we used a Grand Cayman dark rum because we were told it was one of the better rums so not sure! The alcohol content seemed great but guests complained it was pretty tart. Would love to try this one again though. 

    • Heather, next time you can try a juice blend if that helps to make it more to your taste. If you’d like it even sweeter, you can also stir in some simple syrup. I hope you enjoy it more next time!

  46. Thanks so mich Erin! I am just like you with not caring for the sweeter drinks so i knew we would absolutely love this one but I honestly believe it was the brand of cranberry juice that we used or perhaps the champagne ? We just used the inexpensive Cooks brut so perhaps you would not mind emailing me or sharing the brands that you prefer as far as the Cranberry and champagne is concerned because this is the best (not overly  sweet) recipe of punch that i have tried so im determined to make it work! 😊 Thanks so much for sharing! ❤️ 

    • Heather, both of these things can have a MAJOR impact! I used ocean spray cranberry juice (the one marked 100% but that confusingly and frustratingly also contains apple juice). For sparkling wine that I am mixing with other things, I usually look for something marked “brut” that costs between $12 and $15. I find that price range leaves me with plenty of options for a wine that makes for a great-tasting punch! La Marca is one one of my favorite proseccos and is dry, but there are plenty of other options too depending upon what your store carries. I hope that is helpful! The brand of rum/brandy matters too. For brandy, I usually use Korbel (simple and pretty inexpensive but good). I’m not a huge rum drinker but in a punch like this Captain Morgan is generally just fine. Feel free to let me know if you have other questions!

  47. Omgosh thank you for this recipe.
    I made this Christmas eve. Put it all in a few giant bottles. Omitting the ice of course. Then put the ice in the punch bowl Christmas afternoon.
    Turned out amazing!!
    Whole family loved it. I will definitely make this again…maybe Easter lol
    Dont be afraid to make this exactly as in the recipe says.
    😁

  48. Omg i bought the Ocean Spray first,  but found the TJ brand a few days later so did not use the OS  and my absolute FAVE champagne is La Marca! Ok i am going to make this again on NYE with both of these! Betting it will be a 💯 with these changes and i already loved the amount of alcohol! I was feeling great just from the taste testing! 😆 Thanks again! ❤️ 

    • Cheers Heather!!!! I hope it goes better and would love to hear what you think (and La Marca is the best!) FYI, I love the Trader Joe’s Reserve Brut Sparkling that’s sold at the holidays too. Happy NYE!

  49. I plan to make this tonight and when I reviewed the recipe with my sister she wondered whether the fresh cranberries could be frozen to help keep the punch nice and cold? (I assume that people don’t eat them while drinking the punch!)

    • Hi Kathy! I haven’t tried it myself, but I think that could work. If you decide to give it a go, I’d love to hear what you think!

  50. Denise Alexander Reply

    HI Erin 

    I am going to make this Non-alcoholic. I am going to substitute sparkling cider for the wine. Do you suggest any other changes. I am going to put the run on the side if someone wants to add some alcohol. 

    • Hi Denise! At the end of the blog post (if you scroll up from the recipe), I include my suggestions for making the punch nonalcoholic. I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try!

  51. Very successful recipe. Thanks, Erin

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