3 Mixologist-Approved Holiday Punch Recipes

From eggnog to cocoa to a whole sea of pumpkin-spice everything, the holidays are the perfect excuse to huddle around a cozy beverage and get even cozier with your friends and family. When beverage duty falls to you, embrace the spirit — and the flavors — of the season, but don’t be afraid to put a few unexpected twists on classic cocktails.

Follow these recipes and before you know it, you might even have a new holiday tradition on your hands. But don’t worry about the workload — sticking with big batches cuts your prep time way down, giving you more time to enjoy cocktails and company alike, for both this year and many to come.

EARL GREY BOURBON PUNCH

Earl Grey’s rich bergamot notes bring you back to your sweetest fall days. The cocktail version adds some bourbon to the equation, so you’ll be making memories in no time. 

Start to Finish: 25 minutes

Serves 8

  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • ½ cup honey
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange bitters
  • 1½ cups bourbon
  • ½ cup brandy or Cognac
  • 1 lemon, sliced in wheels (for garnish)

easy-sangria-recipes-for-the-holidays

In a heat-resistant container, let your tea steep with 1¼ cups of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Over medium heat, simmer the honey, herbs and ½ cup of water to make a syrup, then strain out the herbs. Transfer the cooled tea to a punch bowl or colorful carafe, stirring in the syrup, lemon juice, bitters, liquor and 2 cups of ice, which will melt as you stir. Garnish with lemon wheels and rosemary sprigs, adding a prickly aroma to the drink’s deep ochre color — and feel free to serve it warm on chilly nights.

WINTER-FRUIT SANGRIA 

If you think sangria’s only for summer, prepare to have your mind changed. This recipe’s addition of brandy and some signature wintertime fruit flavors, sangria is officially out of holiday storage and in your stemless wine glass.

Start to Finish: 20 minutes

Serves 8

  • 1 cup brandy
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 bottles dry red wine
  • 1 cup club soda
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup cranberries (for garnish)

In a large pitcher stir the brandy, sugar and orange and apple slices and let the mixture stand for about 15 minutes. All you need to do now is pour in the wine (Rioja or pinot noir will do the trick), club soda and orange juice and you’re ready to serve over ice. Garnish with cranberries speared on a wooden stirrer — or sugared cranberry spears, if you’ve got a sweet tooth — to really set it off.

easy citrus punch recipes for the holidays

GINGER CITRUS PUNCH

This one’s as easy as it gets, which really suits its light, fall-friendly style. Serve this breezily drinkable citrus punch at Halloween or Thanksgiving in copper mugs, à la a Moscow Mule, or in a warm-hued tumbler to match that belly-thawing ginger bite.

Start to Finish: 5 minutes 

Serves 12

  • 1 cup orange-infused vodka
  • 1 cup lemon-infused vodka
  • 4½ cups ginger beer
  • 2 gallons ginger ale
  • 1 handful star anise
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

All the ingredients in this cocktail — the rare holiday libation that’s centered on crowd-pleasing vodka — go into a big punch bowl all at once. Just stir, add ice and garnish with whole star anise, lemon and orange.

 

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