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Cranberry ginger ale punch is a Christmas party favorite made in under 5 minutes. Make with or without alcohol! Simple to mix with only cranberry juice, ginger ale and spices. An elegant and festive drink to serve at your holiday parties, your guests will never guess how easy it is to make! Bring out your favorite cocktail glasses and impress them all this holiday season.
Our homemade Christmas punch recipe has been a family favorite for years. It graces our table every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Serve your holiday guests from a pitcher, large punch bowl or even a glass jar like we do!
🍾 Why you will adore this holiday drink recipe
- The whole thing takes less than 5 minutes. Because who has spare time during the holidays? You can prepare some steps ahead of time.
- You can keep a variety of alcohol on the side, so everyone can have a cup, and adults can add liquor to make it a holiday cocktail if they choose to. You've got your whole family covered!
- You can easily swap flavors. Cran-raspberry is a favorite around here. See a full list of varieties below!
- BONUS-- it can cover a large crowd or a small crowd. It's the perfect recipe to cut in half, double or even triple!
Last week I shared with you my front porch decked out for Christmas. Everyone loved this little tray that has a container of cranberry Christmas punch and little champagne glasses filled with the fun holiday punch. It looks elegant and time consuming, but I whipped this up in under 5 minutes!
I'm all about easy my friends! I created the recipe as a non-alcoholic drink my kiddos could enjoy for Thanksgiving. They guzzled it down, so I knew I had a winner. They love a good fizzy drink!
The color is absolutely perfect for Christmas! The cranberries are in season and so easy to find, and a bag makes a very inexpensive garnish. Honestly, if you change out the garnishes and replace with blueberries, this party beverage would be great for a 4th of July celebration! This classic punch recipe with a few twists can go long past the month of December.
📋 How to make cranberry ginger ale punch
For the punch recipe you'll simply need 3 basic ingredients : your choice of cranberry juice, ginger ale, and your choice of garnishes.
- Prepare your ingredients. You'll need a bottle of ginger ale, a bottle of cranberry juice and a spice mix of star anise, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks. The most time consuming part for me was slicing the orange slices. That took less than a minute!
- Pour the ginger ale into a large pitcher. You need one that is large enough to hold -- ounces. Once the fizziness has gone down, pour in the cranberry juice.
- Toss in the spice mixture and stir. Stir gently enough that you don't make the ginger ale lose all it's bubbles
🥂 Serving suggestions for holiday drinks:
I prepared the drink mix in a regular pitcher, and then poured it into this glass cracker jar. I debated using my punch bowl, but honestly, I wanted more of a relaxed feeling since it was going on my front porch.
The champagne glasses aren't exactly "relaxed", but since I purchased them for next to nothing I'm not as protective of them as some cut glass cocktail glasses I have. I discovered long ago that using them when you get them at a "steal of a price" is much easier than if you paid a lot of money. Thank goodness for thrift stores!
Once the punch was in the cracker jar, I topped it off with fresh cranberries, a cinnamon stick or 2, star anise, and orange slices. Although the pretty punch shines on its own I jazzed the container up a bit by tying 2 festive ribbons around the neck and placed a Christmas pick with pinecones, berries and greenery into the knot. If you don't have a floral pick, a sprig of fresh rosemary would work.
I placed half a slice of orange and 3 cranberries in each glass. I poured the cranberry juice punch in each glass and allowed those to raise to the top. Once settled, I placed a star anise pod on each orange slice.
Some people prefer to use lime slices for the fun pop of green that goes with the season. Either will work. But since I'm an orange kick right now with things like my orange mocha frappuccino, I stuck with orange slices. I've also used mandarins too. Apple slices would be gorgeous when sliced with a star cut out!
👩🏻🍳 Insider Tips to making the perfect holiday drink:
- Sometimes whole star anise can be hard to find. This past Christmas the store was out, so I just skipped it. Not as pretty, but all was okay. Whole cloves can sub in a pinch too.
- Chill your ginger ale and cranberry juice prior to making to ensure it is cool when served.
- Since you are using a bubbly soda serve within a few hours of making to not lose the bubbles.
- TOP TIP - if you have leftovers, pour back into the cranberry juice container and screw the lid on tightly.
- If you'd like to keep your punch cool through the party without diluting it with ice, freeze your fresh cranberries to act as ice cubes, or place a small amount of the punch in a bundt pan to create and elegant ice ring.
As I said before, my boys adore this drink. I mix up the cranberry juice base with different flavors and they have not been disappointed. By using different flavors of cranberry cocktail juice the recipes are endless!
🍹 Other flavors to try
- original cranberry juice cocktail
- cranberry raspberry
- cranberry grape
- cranberry pineapple juice
- cranberry apple
Other fruit and spices to try:
- sliced fresh ginger peeled
- lemon or limes
Of all the flavors, their favorite blend of cranberry juice seems to be a tie between raspberry and pineapple. I'd say the cranberry apple cider is up there too! They have truly loved them all though!
The other main ingredient is of course a punch recipe staple : ginger ale. You can use other fizzy sodas like Sprite, 7-up, or club soda but honestly, there is something about the flavor of ginger that is included by using ginger ale. One store was sold out when I was making it, so I did sub in 7-up and added some slices of fresh ginger. Again, I'm all about using what you have!
📖 FAQ's about this easy Christmas punch:
If you are a super fan of ginger and really want to give a punch to the punch (see what I did there, haha), you could consider swapping out ginger beer from ginger ale. Ginger beer gives a very very very clear taste of ginger that is perfect for the Christmas season. If you are curious about what the difference between ginger beer and ginger ale check out the post here. I was surprised at how much I learned about the two!
Hubs is a ginger fiend. He doesn't have a terrible sweet tooth, but he does if ginger is involved. He's a huge fan of my chocolate ginger ooey gooey bars.
Absolutely! There are 2 ways you can do this. One is to directly add rum or vodka in the punch recipe. Straight into the punch bowl is fine. If you have kiddos attending the party, it might be easier to allow guests to spike their drinks individually so the kiddos can enjoy the fun non-alcoholic punch as well.
Vodka is a very popular - a vodka cranberry ginger ale cocktail is a great recipe this time of year. But don't discount rum. Especially a spiced rum which can add a depth of flavor to the drink that vodka won't.
Tequila-- throw that in and you've made yourself some lazy cranberry margaritas!
Don't need an entire holiday punch recipe, but want just a simple cranberry cocktail? My recipe for rosemary cranberry moscow mules might be just what you are looking for! They are perfect for smaller holiday gatherings.
Looking for food recipes with cranberries? I've got you covered there as well! In fact I have a whole lot of recipes dedicated to my love for cranberries. See the entire cranberry recipe collection!
You'll find the sign up on my sidebar or at the very bottom of this post, above the comment section. If you make the punch, it would warm my heart if you were kind enough to leave a comment telling me what you think of it!
Quick 5 Minute Cranberry Ginger Ale Punch Recipe
For the punch:
- 64 ounces cranberry cocktail flavor of your choice, see list in post above for choices. Our favorite brand is Ocean Spray.
- 48 ounces ginger ale This is 4 (12 oz) cans and ¾ of a 2 liter bottle. We use canada dry ginger ale or Schweppe's.
For the Christmas punch flavor:
- 1 orange thinly sliced
- 5 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
To garnish the glasses / punch bowl (optional)
- fresh cranberries
- orange slices
- star anise
- cinnamon sticks
- If you are making the full recipe you will need a one gallon pitcher or other container. If you are doubling the recipe, it is easier to make each batch one at a time.
- Pour the ginger ale in very slowly. It will bubble and fizz. Try to do it slowly and to minimize this. Part of the fun of the punch is the bubbles!
- Next, pour the cranberry juice into the container. Once settled, stir very very very gently to distribute.
- To make the Christmas punch flavor from spices, add in the slices of one orange, 5 star anise and 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks. If you are in a bind and don't have these, but you have mulling spices, a tablespoon or 2 of that will work as well.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour very gently into punch bowl or cracker jar.