Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Christmas

25 Holiday Punches to Make Ahead of Your Parties

Spend less time mixing and more time with your guests.

Lights Out Punch / Tim Nusog

When you’re hosting a party, you can’t beat a bowl of punch for its ability to serve (and please) a crowd. Punches are widely considered the earliest-known cocktails—in their current form, they date to at least the 17th century—and historically feature a spirit, citrus, spice, sugar, and water. Today, many punches call for a bubbly element like sparkling wine or club soda, making them even more party-friendly. 

Best of all, you can prepare most of these drinks in advance, and if the recipe doesn’t already yield multiple servings, you can easily scale it up for extra guests.

  • Champagne Holiday Punch

    Champagne Holiday Punch / Tim Nusog

    Champagne is always appropriate for the holidays. An even more festive option is this citrusy punch from San Diego bar pro Erick Castro. He combines the sparkling wine with genever, Cointreau, club soda, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Old Fashioned bitters to serve at least eight. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Christmas Punch

    Christmas Punch / Tim Nusog

    This festive recipe from bartender Dave Taha combines light rum, cranberry and tart cherry juices, simple syrup, allspice, fresh ginger, nutmeg, and ginger ale. You can easily make a non-alcoholic version by omitting the rum. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Café Corrección Ponche

    Caffe Correccion Ponche / Tim Nusog

    If you don’t want to mix up Espresso Martinis à la carte, consider this make-ahead punch. Bar pro Eric Alperin combines añejo rum, Punt e Mes vermouth, cold-brew coffee, orange juice, muddled sugar and orange peels, and simple syrup to yield about eight servings. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Reggae Rum Punch

    Reggae Rum Punch / Tim Nusog

    Ian Burrell knows a thing or two about rum: He’s nicknamed The Rum Ambassador. For this twist on a classic Rum Punch, he highlights the spirit by combining an overproof white Jamaican rum with a bevy of fruit juices and a homemade strawberry syrup. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • Two-Hit Fig Punch

    Two-Hit Fig Punch / Tim Nusog

    This fruity bourbon-and-rum punch from bartending vet Charlotte Voisey hits all the right party notes. She combines the two spirits with figs, lemon and orange juices, and simple syrup to produce a drink that serves two dozen guests.

    Get the recipe.

  • Brandy Milk Punch

    Brandy Milk Punch / Tim Nusog 

    This famed New Orleans cocktail likely originated at Brennan’s restaurant, where it’s still a classic brunch order today. Re-create the decadent recipe for four guests by combining brandy, milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and ice in a blender. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Oaxacan Punch

    Oaxacan Punch / Tim Nusog

    For this smoky and bittersweet punch, bar pro Tad Carducci combines mezcal, Averna amaro, grapefruit and lemon juices, agave nectar, ginger beer, and water. The recipe yields 10, but rest assured your guests will be going back for seconds. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Rum-Brandy Punch

    Rum-Brandy Punch / Tim Nusog

    This historic drink packs a two-spirit punch with aged rum and VSOP cognac (or Armagnac). Combine with muddled lemon peels and raw sugar, lemon juice, and cold water to serve 30. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • Sparkling Holiday Punch

    Sparkling Holiday Punch / Tim Nusog

    This fruity vodka punch from Voisey is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. She combines pomegranate and blueberry vodkas, muddled orange peels and sugar, lemon juice, a fig-infused tea syrup, sparkling wine, and water to serve a dozen. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Port Royal Punch

    Port Royal Punch / Tim Nusog

    This boozy fruit punch doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or techniques. For an easy way to serve 25 guests, combine spiced rum, pineapple and mango juices, grenadine, and oranges.

    Get the recipe.

  • Royal Balmoral Punch

    Royal Balmoral Punch / Tim Nusog

    Named for the Scottish summer home of the royal family, this elegant and festive punch is indeed fit for a royal—or your party guests. Voisey combines a single-malt scotch, apple juice, an English Breakfast tea syrup, sparkling lemonade, and Champagne.

    Get the recipe.

  • Cardamom & Pop Punch

    Cardamom and Pop Punch / Tim Nusog

    Cardamom lends its aromatic complexity to this spiced punch from bar pro Phil Ward. The mixture of rum, cardamom pods, lime and grapefruit juices, club soda, sugar cubes, and orange bitters can easily be scaled up for a crowd.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • Super Sunday Punch

    Super Sunday Punch / Tim Nusog 

    Chicago bartender Mike Ryan created this punch for game day, but its warm baking-spice flavors make it just as appropriate for a holiday gathering. Combine two classic American spirits—bottled-in-bond bourbon and Laird’s apple brandy—with cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, grapefruit juice, honey, and sweet tea. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Lights Out Punch

    Lights Out Punch / Tim Nusog

    For this festive punch, bartender Joaquín Simó combines reposado tequila, tea-infused sweet vermouth, apple and lemon juices, demerara syrup, two types of bitters, and club soda, yielding 12 to 16 servings. A neat touch: a prepared ice block with apple slices and cinnamon sticks that infuses the drink with even more holiday flavors as it melts. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Garrick Club Punch

    Garrick Club Punch / Tim Nusog

    This refreshing gin punch dates to 1830s England, where it was first served at The Garrick Club. Step back in time with the refreshing mix of gin, maraschino liqueur (or Grand Marnier), muddled lemon peels and sugar, lemon juice, and club soda. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Canadian Punch

    Canadian Punch / Tim Nusog

    As drink historian David Wondrich writes, no one quite knows the Canadian relation of this punch, which first appeared in Jerry Thomas’s seminal Bon Vivant’s Companion in 1862. What we do know: The combination of rye whiskey, Jamaican rum, lemon and pineapple slices, sugar, and water will go down easily at your holiday parties. This recipe serves two dozen guests. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • Mexican Punch

    Mexican Punch / Tim Nusog

    This tequila punch from bar pro Toby Maloney comes together easily, leaving you even more time to enjoy the party. Just muddle citrus fruits, then add blanco tequila, simple syrup, lime juice, and grenadine before topping with lemon-lime soda.

    Get the recipe.

  • Sauvignon Blanc Punch

    Sauvignon Blanc Punch / Tim Nusog

    Make this light and refreshing punch for wine lovers. Bar pro Alex Jump combines sauvignon blanc, Aperol, grapefruit and lemon juices, simple syrup, and club soda.

    Get the recipe.

  • Boat House Punch

    Boat House Punch / Tim Nusog 

    This bright and bubbly punch from New York City bar pro Julie Reiner is delicious any time of year. She tops a lemon oleo-saccharum, dry gin, Aperol, St-Germain liqueur, and citrus juices with sparkling rosé. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Orange Sherbet Mimosa Punch

    Orange Sherbet Mimosa Punch

    Joy Wilson

    This crowd-pleasing punch from blogger Joy Wilson also doubles as dessert. Just stir together Champagne, orange juice, and ginger ale, then add generous scoops of orange sherbet to serve a crowd of eight to 10.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • Bourbon Rosemary Punch

    Bourbon Rosemary Punch / Tim Nusog

    Infuse a bottle of Aperol with rosemary ahead of a gathering to make this bittersweet and herbaceous punch. Combine with bourbon, honey syrup, grapefruit juice, dry sparkling wine, and soda water to serve 16. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Lemon Bar Milk Punch

    Lemon Bar Clarified Milk Punch / Tim Nusog

    Clarified milk punch, a clear punch, dates to the 17th century. This thoroughly modern recipe from Portland, Oregon bar pro Joel Scheck requires a little work, but you’ll be rewarded with 30 servings. He re-creates the flavors of the punch’s namesake treat with ingredients including rum, Licor 43 liqueur, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, Batavia Arrack, a graham-cracker-steeped whole milk, and a baking spice-Meyer lemon oleo saccharum

    Get the recipe.

  • Ponche Navideño

    Ponche Navideno / Tim Nusog

    Make up to a dozen guests feel warm and cozy. This Mexican Christmas staple combines light rum, hot water, piloncillo, cinnamon, cloves, tamarind paste, apples, pears, raisins, hibiscus flowers, and lemons in a stockpot. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Pear & Pub Ale Party Punch

    Pear and Pub Ale Party Punch

    Fine & Dandy

    There’s no need to play bartender all night when you make this spiced punch in advance. Bartender Jonathan Webb combines rye whiskey, dark rum, cinnamon-pear syrup, citrus juices, and light beer to produce a festive drink that serves eight. 

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • Rainbow Planter’s Punch

    Rainbow Planters Punch

    Dale DeGroff

    For this riff on a classic Planter’s Punch, the legendary Dale DeGroff combines white and dark rums, orange curaçao, allspice dram, grenadine, lime juice, Angostura bitters, and a rainbow of fruit juices. Up to six guests will be very happy to find it at a party. 

    Get the recipe.