Festive Punch Recipes to Serve at Your Next Holiday Party
The holiday season is synonymous with parties, and plenty of them. Caroling parties, office parties, cookie exchange parties, ugly sweater potlucks, white elephant gift exchanges, neighborhood open house buffets, New Year's Eve galas, and more. For most of us, there so many parties but so little time. What does every great holiday party have in common (besides indulgent appetizers and plenty of cookies)? Good cheer—especially in the form of free-flowing festive beverages. This is the domain of the punch bowl, where guests can gather round, make conversation, and serve themselves—and you don't need to play bartender.
Another great feature of holiday party punches? You can make them ahead of time! Just about every ingredient in a punch—spirits, juices, fruits, spices—can be mixed several hours ahead of time and stored in pitchers or jars in the fridge until party time. There are just a few ingredients that shouldn't be added until the punch is ready to serve. The obvious one, of course, is ice, as it will just melt and water down the drink before anyone can enjoy it. Another last-minute ingredient is anything with bubbles: sparkling wine, seltzer, and soda. Preserve maximum effervescence by waiting to pop those bottles open and add them to the punch once the first guest rings the doorbell.
Here's a bartender secret: It's best to hold back on these potent punch enhancers until serving time as well, since the flavor becomes stronger over time. For any punch that needs last-minute additions, stick a piece of masking tape on the container detailing exactly what needs to be added (e.g., add one bottle Prosecco, four dashes bitters, and an ice ring before serving) so other people can help you with last-minute prep if necessary.
When it comes to serving, remember that just because it's punch doesn't mean you have to serve it from a punch bowl. Any large vessel and a ladle can be recruited for the job: a bowl, a giant vase, or canister—get creative! (P.S., pitchers are perfect for serving punch, too). Ready to plan that party? Let's get started!
Pomegranate, cranberry, lemon, orange—all the flavors of the winter season show up to this party, and crowd-pleasing vodka adds the kicker. The cranberry ice cubes are the icing on the cake.
The Original Eggnog
Sparkly pink punch with the sweet, seductive flavor of St-Germain liqueur is a surefire party starter.
Mulled White Wine
Sangria puts on its holiday best with juicy, peak-season grapefruit prepared three ways and mixed with a simple-but-perfect combination of sugar and dry vermouth.
Marmalade Whiskey Sours
Big-batch whiskey sours get an extra-special citrusy twist from orange marmalade and fresh lime juice.
Pear-Rosemary Vodka Cocktails
Start planning now for the fun and festive infused vodka that's at the base of this sophisticated punch. It takes two weeks to steep the pears and rosemary, but the flavored spirits can be stored for up to two months.
Vanilla bean and lemon zest muddled with sugar provides a seductively aromatic sweetness to the brandy that spikes this Prosecco punch.
Aperol Gin Punch
This light-bodied cocktail still packs a punch thanks to the well-choreographed trio of Lillet Blanc, gin, and Aperol. Orange-blossom water adds a little bit of magic and basil sprigs bring the festive greenery (which can you can sub with rosemary or sage for a more wintery vibe if you like!).
Spiced Chocolate Eggnog
Milk chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper bring a whole new mood to this brandy-spiked eggnog.
You will love it in the snow; it will make your party glow. We and Martha have a hunch that you will love green gin-spiked punch.