Christmas Punch with sparkling cranberry and apple flavors is the perfect homemade beverage for a holiday gathering! Adding alcohol or leaving it non-alcoholic makes it great for kids and adults alike.  

Christmas Punch is just the beginning! Let us help you create a Rockwellian Christmas feast with creative and traditional treats like “buck-eye” peanut butter balls, baked ham with pineapple brown sugar glaze, and sauteed brussel sprouts with cranberries and pecans!

Christmas Punch served in a pitcher with ice, fresh cranberries and lime slices.

Each holiday has its unique traditions and flavors, and we look forward to Christmas Punch every year! The whole cranberries floating on top contribute to the homemade, festive look of the Christmas spread and the best thing is it is super quick and easy to make! This recipe is easy to customize for alcoholic or non alcoholic Christmas punch, depending on the occasion. You can always make two versions, a dry champagne-based one for the adults and one with ginger ale for the kids.

Ingredients for Christmas Punch:

  • Fresh cranberries.
  • Water and Sugar – to make a simple syrup for cooking the cranberries.
  • Apple cider.
  • Cranberry juice – I use this Cranberry Juice. Avoid Cranberry Juice “cocktail”, which has lots of added sugar, or “pure”, unsweetened cranberry juice, which can be fairly bitter/tart (in which case you would just need to add a little more sugar to the simple syrup, to taste).
  • The juice of half a lime.
  • Ginger ale (quality, brand).
  • Crushed ice.

The ingredients needed to make Christmas Punch.

How to make Christmas Punch:

  1. Combine water, sugar and cranberries in a small saucepan.
  2. Simmer cranberries until they begin to pop.
  3. Chill in fridge until cooled.
  4. Combine main ingredients in a punch bowl: cranberries, apple cider, cranberry juice and lime juice. Store in fridge.
  5. When ready to serve, add ginger ale or champagne and lots of ice. Garnish with thin slices of orange and apple.

Three process photos for making Christmas Punch.

Alcoholic Variations:

  • Instead of 3 cups Ginger ale, use 1 ½ cups Ginger ale and 1 ½ cups of an inexpensive “brut” champagne, cava or prosecco, or dark rum, or brandy . For extra glow add a few shots of vodka.
  • To bring out the orange flavor add some triple sec or add notes of raspberry with Razzmatazz or Chambord.

Make Ahead Instructions:

This is a great drink to make in advance. You can make all of it, except for adding the ginger soda or champagne, a day ahead of time.

If you love Christmas and holiday drinks, be sure to try:

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Recipe

Sparkling Cranberry Apple Punch | Tastes Better From Scratch
Prep 10 mins
Cook 3 mins
Total 13 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups cranberry juice (not juice cocktail)
  • juice from half of a small lime
  • 3 cups ginger ale , chilled
  • crushed ice

Instructions
 

  • Combine the water, sugar and cranberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. 
    Water, sugar and fresh cranberries in a saucepan.
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Pour into a tupperware and allow to cool to room temperature, or chill in the fridge until cooled.
    A bowl of cooked fresh cranberries in simple syrup.
  • Add cooled cranberries to a pitcher. Add apple cider, cranberry juice and lime juice and chill until ready to serve. 
    Cranberry juice being poured into a pitcher with fresh cranberries and simple syrup, to. make Christmas punch.
  • Once ready to serve, add ginger-ale and ice.
  • Optional: Serve with thinly sliced lime, apples, or oranges floating on top, or even a cinnamon stick to add to the festive appearance. Add them all last so they don't add any bitter flavors to the drink.

Notes

Alcoholic Variations:
  • Instead of 3 cups Ginger ale, use 1 ½ cups Ginger ale and 1 ½ cups of an inexpensive "brut" champagne, cava or prosecco, or dark rum, or brandy . For extra glow add a few shots of vodka.
  • To bring out the orange flavor add some triple sec or add notes of raspberry with Razzmatazz or Chambord.
Make Ahead Instructions:
This is a great drink to make in advance. You can make all of it, except for adding the ginger soda or champagne, a day ahead of time.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 47gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 145mgSugar: 44gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 7.8mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 0.6mg

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I originally shared this recipe November 2016. Updated December 2020.

Sparkling Cranberry Apple Punch is the perfect easy holiday drink for a great party! | Tastes Better From Scratch

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. Oh yes ! The list of dishes is done and this is just what I need to add to make it complete ! Thank you and happy holidays !

  2. 5 stars
    Made this several times over the holidays and it was a HUGE hit at different parties! Thanks for a great recipe!