These Festive Punch Recipes are Scale-to-Fit and Fit to Please

Get into the holiday spirits with these festive drinks for a crowd.

By Dan Q. Dao

Updated on December 11, 2021

As the holidays arrive in full force during the fall and winter, hosting for a crowd can be overwhelming. Don’t waste time and energy mixing up one-off drinks. Festive cocktails that scale to fit your party take the guesswork out of happy hour. A generous and well-placed punch bowl and large ladle allow your guests to serve themselves, freeing you up to enjoy the festivities. 

Hyper-seasonal numbers like eggnog and mulled wine are yuletide favorites. Add in rum and brandy to a classic nog for a Tom and Jerry that is as warming as the fire itself. Or, if you prefer a more tropical profile, swap out some of the dairy for coconut milk to make Puerto Rican coquito. 

Sometimes making a holiday punch is as simple as adapting a year-round favorite with a spicy seasonal garnish. Finish ciders with cinnamon or top anr orange-pineapple punch or a batch of BVI-style painkillers with freshly-grated nutmeg. Find your next party pleaser in our favorite holiday punch recipes.

Lemons and raspberries add tartness and a beautiful pink hue to this punch, slightly smoky thanks to the addition of mezcal. Get the recipe >

Sweet citrus, whiskey, and a pleasantly bitter gentian-flavored liqueur combine in an elegant punch concocted by New York City cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit. Get the recipe >

In this riff on the hot eggnog-like classic, Rachael Thompson of Chicago's Violet Hour perks up the traditional rich base of egg batter and cognac with two New Orleans favorites: the anise-y liqueur Herbsaint and a coffee-chicory syrup, a nod to the coffee at Café du Monde. Get the recipe >

New York bartender Jackie Summers introduced us to a homemade version of this traditional Jamaican white rum punch made with dried hibiscus flowers and an array of citrus and spices Get the recipe >

In this Southern spin on the boozy Yuletide favorite, a mix of bourbon and rum takes the place of brandy. Get the recipe >

Originally brought to Nevada by Basque immigrants in the late 19th century, the aperitif Amer Picon is no longer exported to the U.S., and has spawned many local replicas as a result. Anamarie Lopategui, co-owner of Ogi Deli in Elko, uses one in her punch— the orange-heavy Amer Depot—and adds a Spanish brandy to highlight the Spanish connection. Get the recipe >

Aging eggnog develops complex flavors, much like aging wine or spirits. Though bartender Nick Bennett keeps his for a year at least, he says as little as three to six weeks is enough to make a noticeable difference. Get the recipe >

Chicago's Punch House manager Aaron "The Doctor" Minnes says, "This punch has fall written all over it. The spice combination of the rye, caraway and the chai masala are a match made in heaven for a punch, and the pear softens the whole experience. Caraway can be overpowering in a lot of drinks, however, in this punch, it's subtle,like a good bass line to sip along to." Get the recipe >

Tempered with crisp apple cider and soothingly sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry, this sneaky applejack-based number goes down deceptively easy. Serve it to your family members if you prefer talking them after they've got some booze in 'em. Get the recipe >

Bartender John Henderson doubles up on apple with pressed and dry hard cider. It's spiked with bourbon and tempered with chai tea. He says, "Seasonal apples are the staple for this delicious fall punch. The chai and maple add a nice sweetener, to complement Maker's Mark's sweeter flavor profile." Get the recipe >

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