Cranberry juice gives Christmas punch a refreshing, tangy twist. The juice’s red hue and cranberry taste means it’s seasonally appropriate in color and flavor. Cranberry has a versatile taste that pairs well with other fruits. It also blends well with a variety of spices and alcohols, so non-alcoholic or alcohol-based, there are cranberry punches to suit every kind of Christmas gathering.
Serving Punch 101
When it comes to serving Christmas punch, your main concern is whether the drink is hot or cold. Hot punches require a punch bowl with a lid or a coffee carafe-type container to keep the liquid warm as guests mingle. Cold punches require a punch bowl and ice to keep cold. However, adding plain ice to the punch leads to a watered-down flavor. Freeze juice and/or fruits in decorative cubes or rings before the party instead of plain ice. Serve the punch with the decorative ice so that as the ice melts, it contributes to the punch flavor instead of detracting from it.
Deliciously Simple Punches
Whether you’re out of time or out of ingredients, there are several simple punches you can serve for a Christmas gathering. Combine raspberry and cranberry juice for a quick punch with a tart taste. Mix cranberry juice and lemon-lime soda for a sparkling drink with a hint of tang. Stir cranberry juice and apple juice together to make a punch with a mellow flavor.
Scandalously Sweet Punches
Cranberry juice has a tangy taste, so you can pair it with sweeter ingredients without worrying about the punch being too sweet. Mix cranberry, cherry and orange juice to create a sweet punch with some zip. Combine cranberry juice, orange juice and orange soda for a sparkling punch with an acidic bite. Blend cranberry juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice and ginger ale together to make a tropical Christmas punch. Stir cranberry juice, lime juice, sugar and soda water together for a sweet and sour beverage.
Delightfully Spicy Punches
Cranberry juice lends itself as well to spiced drinks as it does to sweet ones. Mix cranberry juice and spiced apple cider for a flavorful punch you can serve hot or cold. Simmer cranberry juice with cinnamon sticks and orange rinds to make a warm punch with a hint of spice. Lightly boil cranberry juice, apple juice, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, allspice and cloves together for a hot drink with a sophisticated flavor.
Alcohol-based cranberry punches can liven up an adult party during the Christmas season. Mix cranberry juice, orange juice and vodka for a simple punch with bite. Combine cranberry juice, lime juice and a light berry wine for a refreshing holiday punch. Stir cranberry juice, orange juice, lime juice and tequila together to make a fruity punch with a sharp taste. Mix cranberry juice, ginger ale, sugar and rum together for an extra-sweet beverage with a rich background flavor. Simmer cranberry juice with hard apple cider to create a warm cocktail punch with a tart taste.
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