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!
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:
- It’s simple but beautiful, with the right amount of holiday sparkle,
- Guests will love it (and love you for making it!), and
- 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.
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.
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!
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
- A pretty Christmas punch bowl or Christmas punch bowl set. I used this one from Crate and Barrel, and the size was excellent for a crowd. This one is nice also, and this one doubles as a cake stand if you flip it over (WHAT?).
- Large measuring cup (I use this simple one)
- 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
- 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!
- *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.
Nutrition InformationAmount 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!
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