Drinks for one, and you have a nice evening to yourself. Drinks for two or three, and it’s happy hour. A WHOLE BOWL of sparkling Christmas Punch? We have ourselves a party!

Traditional Christmas punch served in a bowl with oranges and cranberries

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.

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

If you’re planning a holiday gathering and want to know “what do you drink on Christmas Eve?” or “what do you drink for Christmas dinner?” Christmas punch is the answer.

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. Because it takes minutes to make, you can quickly (perhaps too quickly) continue refilling the bowl as the night goes on.

Sparkling cranberry punch with rum, champagne, and apple cider

How to Make the Best Christmas Punch

Cranberry juice, sparkling wine, and orange slices keep the punch’s flavor light, bright, and dangerously easy to drink.

The Ingredients

  • Cranberry Juice. Make sure you use a juice that is labeled 100% cranberry juice, versus cranberry juice cocktail. The juice should be marked 100% cranberry but still contain has a blend of other juices for some natural sweetness (confusing I know!). This is the one I used.
    • Do not use completely unsweetened, 100% pure cranberry juice or your punch will be too tart. If you purchase the wrong kind by mistake or your punch tastes tarter than you would like for any reason, all is not lost! Sweeten the punch to your liking by stirring in 1/4 to 1/2 cup simple syrup.
  • Sparkling Wine. Use a very dry sparkling wine. It doesn’t matter what the wine’s country of origin is, as long as it is labeled “brut,” which is the driest, dryer even than wine labeled “extra dry” (Tip: think “brutally dry”). Champagne, cava, and Prosecco are all fair game.
  • Apple Cider + Ginger Ale. Adds balance and dynamic flavor.
  • Dark Rum or Brandy. Rich, spicy, and fun. I preferred this as a Christmas rum punch, but if you’d like something a little sweeter, brandy is a good option.
  • Oranges. For a hint of citrus and beautiful color.
  • Cranberries. Fresh cranberries are important here. I love the look of fresh cranberries floating on top too.
  • And, lots of ice!

The Directions

  1. Chill all the ingredients to make sure your punch is nice and chilly.
  2. Fill a large punch bowl with ice, and top with all the ingredients except the oranges and cranberries. Stir to combine. Last, top with the oranges and cranberries to beautify it. ENJOY!

Alcoholic Christmas punch served in a bowl with oranges and cranberries

Recipe Adaptations

  • Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch. Omit the alcohol from this recipe, and use sparkling white grape juice instead of wine. Prepare as directed.
  • Christmas Punch in Sherbet. Top each glass of this Raspberry Champagne Float with Christmas punch instead of champagne.
  • Christmas Punch with Raspberry Vodka. Swap in an equal amount of raspberry vodka for the rum or brandy in this recipe.
  • Pomegranate Christmas Punch. Use pomegranate juice instead of cranberry juice, and swap in pomegranate seeds for the cranberries.

What are Christmas Drinks? 

Christmas drinks are delicious, festive, and perfect for serving at parties. This punch is one of my favorites, and I have other suggestions for you too!

three glass punch glasses with pink punch topped with cranberries

What to Serve with Christmas Punch

This traditional Christmas punch goes perfectly with every holiday recipe. Here are a few ideas:

Recommended Tools to Make Christmas Punch

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!

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.
4.97 from 29 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 drink, Easy Punch Recipe, party punch, punch for a crowd, traditional punch

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!