Signature Holiday Punches

28 November 2022

The holidays are a time for celebrating and enjoying company. No, it doesn’t need to be alcoholic, but sometimes it is really nice! Punches are easy to prepare in advance and keep in a pitcher in the fridge and slow cookers are great for sangria or mulled wines or ciders.

An easy way to tackle the alcohol versus non is to leave bottles of vodka or rum near the punch bowl to allow your guests to make their own decisions.

Like all the ads say: Drink responsibly. Plan on designated drivers or using a taxi or ride share service.

Holiday Punch

The bubbles in this punch make it very festive. If you prefer, you could substitute a dry white wine. For the non-alcoholic version use sparkling cider and instead of Cointreau use orange juice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bottles Champagne or Prosecco
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • ½ cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Raspberries, cranberries, mint leaves or rosemary for garnish

Directions:

  1. Chill all liquids. Just before serving, combine the wine, ginger ale, Cointreau and pineapple juice in a large punch bowl.
  2. Top with orange wheels, lemon wheels, raspberries or cranberries, and herbs as a garnish. Serve immediately. Bubbles dissipate after about 20 minutes, so it’s best served immediately (but still tastes great without bubbles).

Bourbon Rosemary Punch

Aperol is a trendy but bitter aperitif with a low alcohol content. You can change it out with Campari or another herbal aperitif (ask your local booze emporium). For non-alcoholic versions use maraschino cherry juice or a flavored simple syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle rosemary-infused Aperol (750 mL)
  • 12 ounces bourbon
  • 6 ounces honey syrup*
  • 6 ounces grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 bottle dry sparkling wine (750 mL), as a topper to each drink
  • 1 bottle soda water (750 mL), to top
  • grapefruit wheels or rosemary sprigs for garnish

     

Directions:

  • Combine the Aperol, bourbon, honey syrup and grapefruit juice in a punch bowl and add large ice cubes.
  • For each serving, ladle 3 ounces of punch into a glass filled with ice cubes.
  • Top with a splash of sparkling wine and a splash of soda water.
  • Garnish with a grapefruit wheel and/or rosemary sprig.

*Honey Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup honey (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

  • Add the honey and water into a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir until the honey is dissolved.
  • Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container. Syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to one month.

Christmas Punch

Despite its name, this is a good beverage throughout the winter season and can just as easily transfer to Valentine’s Day. Make it ahead of time and just add the fizzy soft drink just before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups lemon-lime soft drink or ginger ale
  • 1 cup white rum, spiced rum, whiskey, or vodka, optional
  • Rosemary for garnish
  • Ice

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or punch bowl over ice. If using a really large punch bowl, you can double the recipe.

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