Christmas Punch

$13.88 recipe / $0.69 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 1 vote
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Whether you’re hosting a big Christmas party this year or plan to spend the chilly evenings of December cozy at home, this easy Christmas Punch recipe will put you in a festive mood. This apple-cranberry-ginger drink can be made in a large batch to share with friends, or you can mix it up one glass at a time to enjoy solo anytime you need a sparkly refreshment. …And you can spike it too, if that’s your vibe. ;)

Overhead view of three glasses of Christmas punch garnished with cranberries and fresh rosemary.

Ingredients for Christmas Punch

This incredibly simple holiday drink has only three main ingredients:

  • Apple Cider: You can use either apple cider or unfiltered apple juice for this recipe, but do not use regular clear apple juice.
  • Cranberry Juice: It’s important to use a 100% cranberry juice cocktail for this punch, not unsweetened cranberry juice. Do not get a cranberry juice cocktail that contains a mix of fruit juices. Check the juice ingredients to be sure it only contains cranberry juice, water, and sugar (and maybe a preservative like vitamin C or ascorbic acid, etc.), no grape juice, apple juice, or any other fruit juices.
  • Ginger Ale: Ginger ale brings sweetness, a peppery bite, and a festive fizz to the punch.

Optional Garnishes

In addition to the three ingredients for the punch itself, you can garnish the punch with several ingredients, some of which can provide additional flavor to the punch. Here are some garnish ideas:

  • Fresh Cranberries: Having cranberries float in the punch is visually stunning, but they will not provide additional flavor to the punch.
  • Orange Slices: Orange slices will add a nice subtle citrus flavor to the punch, and they are a beautiful contrast to the red color of the punch.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Placing a cinnamon stick in each glass adds a slight cinnamon aroma every time you sip the punch, which I found to be absolutely delicious. You can also float a few sticks in the bowl of punch if adding one stick per glass is too expensive. You can find cinnamon sticks for a good price at Latin grocery stores or in major grocery store chains in the international food aisle. Badia is a good affordable brand to look for.
  • Fresh Rosemary: If you grow your own rosemary, I would highly suggest adding this beautiful garnish to each glass. It doesn’t add flavor, but the extra greenery is so pretty and festive with the red punch.

Tip: Kill two birds with one stone by using frozen cranberries as a garnish AND to help keep the punch cold!

Overhead view of the punch bowl with a ladle lifting a serving.

Christmas Punch by the Glass

To make this Christmas Punch recipe in smaller quantities, you can adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below to have the ingredient amounts auto-adjust, or, follow the simple ratio of 2 parts cranberry juice + 2 parts ginger ale + 1 part apple cider. So if you wanted to make one glass you’d use 4 oz. cranberry juice, 4 oz. ginger ale, and 2 oz. apple cider. Easy!

Spike It!

The recipe below is for a non-alcoholic Christmas Punch, but it’s super easy to add alcohol either by the glass or to the entire punch bowl! Simply add 1 to 2oz. of vodka, white rum, or gin to each glass or 20-40oz. to the punch bowl.

Keep it Chilled

To avoid letting the Christmas punch get watered down, I suggest starting with chilled ingredients and adding ice to each glass rather than to the punch bowl itself. Another option is to make a double batch of punch, freezing half in ice cube trays, and using that to chill the punch in the bowl bowl.

Side view of three glasses of Christmas Punch garnished with cinnamon with the punch bowl in the back.
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Christmas Punch

5 from 1 vote
This easy Christmas Punch Recipe is the perfect drink to get you in the holiday mood with flavors of apple, cranberry, and sparkling ginger. 
Close up side view of three glasses of Christmas Punch
Servings 20 cups
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes



  • 64 oz. 100% cranberry juice cocktail* ($2.50)
  • 32 oz. apple cider ($1.90)
  • 2 L ginger ale ($2.99)

Optional Garnishes

  • 1 orange ($0.99)
  • 1 cup frozen cranberries ($0.75)
  • 1.5 oz. cinnamon sticks ($4.65)


  • Make sure the cranberry juice cocktail, apple cider, and ginger ale are fully chilled beforehand.
  • Add the cranberry juice cocktail, apple cider, and ginger ale to a large punch bowl or drink dispenser.
  • Add optional garnishes: orange slices, frozen cranberries, cinnamon sticks (cinnamon is nice to add per glass). To enjoy, ladle the punch over a glass full of ice, with or without your favorite alcoholic spirit.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


*Make sure to get sweetened cranberry juice cocktail that only contains cranberry juice, not a mix of cranberry and other fruit juices. 


Serving: 1cupCalories: 104kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 0.05gFat: 0.1gSodium: 11mgFiber: 0.1g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Christmas Punch – Step by Step Photos

Close up of the ingredient label on a bottle of cranberry juice cocktail.

This recipe is written using 100% cranberry juice cocktail. The labeling of cranberry juice can be very confusing, so make sure to check the ingredient list. What you’re looking for is sweetened cranberry juice, not a mix of cranberry and other fruit juices. Do not buy unsweetened cranberry juice because it is far too tart for the ingredient ratios listed here. …And it’s super expensive.

Ginger ale being poured into a punch bowl with cranberry juice and apple cider.

Combine 64oz. chilled cranberry juice cocktail (100% cranberry), 32oz. chilled apple cider or unfiltered apple juice, and 2 liters of chilled ginger ale.

Garnishes added to the punch bowl.

Add any optional garnishes. I love adding some sliced oranges because they give just the slightest hint of citrus flavor to the punch. Frozen cranberries help keep the punch cold, but will not add any additional flavor. I also love adding a cinnamon stick to every glass because it gives just a hint of cinnamon flavor as you sip, but you could also float a few sticks in the punch bowl.

Close up side view of two glasses of Christmas punch garnished with cranberries and fresh rosemary.

Fresh rosemary is super pretty in the glass, but I don’t find that it offers any additional flavor. And don’t forget, you can spike each glass of punch with 1-2oz. of your favorite vodka, white rum, or gin! ;)

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  1. This recipe deserves more great reviews, so here it is ;) Made this at Christmas and was such a huge hit. I used the “Simply” brand for the Cranberry Cocktail and pure pressed apple juice and it really made a difference in the taste/quality. Don’t skip the oranges because it makes all the difference. Will be making this again and again for future special occasions!