Holiday Punch
Holiday Punch

Want an easy cocktail for your New Year’s party without playing bartender all night? Punch is the perfect solution.

A good punch mixes together spirits, juice, and spices in a communal bowl. Guests serve themselves, and you can relax and enjoy the night as the glamorous doyenne you know you are.

This punch is a particular favorite of mine. It brings together winter flavors such as cranberry, orange, and cinnamon in a delightful drink that leaves you glowing with cheer.

I’ve included both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of the recipe below. If you want to give the alcoholic version even more of a kick, replace one or both cups of the hard cider with applejack or apple brandy.

Most punches use ice molds to keep things cold. I simply chill the individual ingredients overnight, and then mix everything together right as the party starts. Keep a bucket of ice nearby so guests can chill and dilute their drinks as they see fit.

Ingredients

For the cinnamon syrup (makes about 2 cups):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

For the punch (alcoholic version):

  • 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger beer
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 bottles hard cider
  • Orange and lime slices for garnish

For the punch (non-alcoholic version):

  • 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger beer
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • Orange and lime slices for garnish

1 Make the cinnamon syrup: Place the sugar, water, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks. Pour into a bottle or other container and cool. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

2 Refrigerate the punch ingredients: Refrigerate all punch ingredients for at least 6 hours, or overnight, so they are chilled before serving.

3 Make the punch: Mix 1/3 cup cinnamon syrup with all the punch ingredients in a large punch bowl, stock pot, or other container. Stir together and serve immediately.

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