Fall and winter are full of holidays, which means lots of parties, often with family involved. A little booze can make all of these get-togethers run a little more smoothly. We’ve rounded up our favorite festive punch recipes making use of all the season’s great flavors.
Few drinks are as seasonal as eggnog. You might see it for a couple of weeks in December, but then it disappears. Our recipes are so good you might want to drink well into the new year. Not Your Nana’s Nog is a polished version of the classic, made with eggs, cream, and spiced rum, plus orange liqueur. Hugh Acheson’s eggnog uses a mixture of rum and bourbon and is dressed up with nutmeg.
If eggnog sounds a little too heavy, we’ve got plenty of other great festive punches. The Poinsettia punch takes a floral gin and mixes it with grenadine, allspice dram, and cinnamon syrup. Cranberries are a staple of the season, and their tart flavor is great for cocktails. Red Nose Punch is a beer and bourbon drink flavored with cranberry, lime, and more cinnamon syrup. If it’s warmer out try our Pawleys Rum Punch, a refreshing mix of cranberry, orange, and pineapple juice and two kinds of rum.
Sometimes making a holiday punch is as simple as finding the right garnish for a great year-round recipe. The Horse & Carriage is a lightly sweet, effervescent gin-based punch made with chamomile tea and sparkling wine. In the fall try it garnished with apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks; in winter with citrus slices and pomegranate
Find all these recipes and more in our collection of great holiday punches!
Touch of Evil Punch
Lemons and raspberries add tartness and a beautiful pink hue to this punch, slightly smoky thanks to the addition of mezcal.
Pawleys Rum Punch
Contributor Marshall Bright’s father makes this boozy fruit punch for the family every year during their annual beach vacation in Pawleys Island, South Carolina. A sprinkle of fresh nutmeg on top compliments the molasses-like flavor of the rum. Use freshly squeezed orange juice—it adds a bright flavor the bottled stuff can’t match. Get the recipe for Pawleys Rum Punch »
Horse & Carriage
New York City bar The Daily serves this lightly sweet, effervescent gin-based punch made with chamomile tea and sparkling wine. Created by mixologist Naren Young, it was inspired by classic holiday punches but is easily adapted to any season—try it in fall garnished with apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks; in winter with citrus slices and pomegranate; and in spring with edible flowers.
This brightly spiced punch recipe includes gin, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and allspice dram.
Punch à la Taylor
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.
Hugh Acheson’s Eggnog
In this Southern spin on the boozy Yuletide favorite, a mix of bourbon and rum takes the place of brandy.
Not Your Nana’s Nog
This boozy re-creation of a classic eggnog requires a bit more preparation than the store-bought variety, but is certainly worth the extra effort. Using more egg whites than yolk gives a creamy mouthfeel without being too thick or heavy.
Tom and Jerry
Experiencing the Tom and Jerry is like sipping a hot toddy through a brandy-laced, nutmeg-dusted froth. Serve this thick, batter-like concoction at your next holiday gathering.
Throughout the Caribbean, rum punches flecked with nutmeg have been served steadily since the colonial era.
Glögg (Spiced Wine)
The secret ingredient to this version of a classic is Indonesian long pepper, which is not as unusual a Scandinavian ingredient as it might sound. Long peppers were one of the first things that Sweden brought back when the Dutch East India Company established trade in 1602.
Spiced rum and fiery ginger beer combine with tart cranberry juice in this flavorful cool-weather cocktail.
Sweet Gin Symphony
This lively gin-based punch captures complex seasonal flavors with layers of citrus, mint, and anise thanks to an absinthe rinse sprayed in each glass. For an added festive touch, garnish with star anise fruit.
Desert Snow Tequila Punch
Adding tequila and lime zest to a rich homemade horchata is an impressive egg and dairy free alternative to eggnog. For extra citrus flavor, twist a strip of lime peel above each glass and rub it around the rim before adding it to the drink.
This flavorful punch balances the bite of sherry and corn whiskey with nutty homemade walnut orgeat syrup and fresh citrus juice.
Minny’s Mississippi Punch
This punchy Southern cocktail, inspired by nominee The Help, is sweet but surprisingly strong—just like the characters in the movie.
Fish House Punch
Dark rum and cognac warm up this peach punch created in the 18th century.