Holiday punch: Festive libations made easy for the home mixologist


When planning a festive holiday celebration, beverages are a key component. A festive holiday punch can keep the cocktails flowing.

As the year nears its end, holiday parties are plentiful. The home mixologist doesn’t want to be stuck behind the bar all night long. An event with just beer or wine is somewhat limited. Luckily, a holiday punch is a perfect festive libation for any occasion.

Holiday punches come in all forms and flavors. From warm spices to bright citrus, holiday punches can appeal to many tastes. The key to finding the best holiday punch for any holiday party is to focus on flavor. Knowing what you and your guests like, taste wise, is key.

Additionally, three important tips can keep you punch bowl a favorite part of any holiday part. According to Matt Wallace, Mixologist and Beverage Director of Bar Tribute, a few considerations can make any holiday punch an absolute star.

First, keep the ice on the side. No one wants a watered down drink. By keeping the ice on the side, your guests can control the amount of ice in their own drink. Plus, melted ice can water down the punch. No one wants a watered down punch.

Second, when possible, use fresh ingredients. Fresh ingredients can add a more potent flavor to any drink. A great example is nutmeg. Grate fresh nutmeg over the punch instead of using a pre-packaged powder. Not only will the flavor be better, the powdered spice and make for a gritty drink.

Lastly, you can’t really mess up a punch. Experimenting with flavors can be fun. Just make sure that the flavors go together. For example, lemon and ginger work as a flavor pairing but cinnamon and cranberry don’t.

Are you ready to make your next holiday punch? Here’s two punch recipes that will have your friends asking for you to make another punchbowl.

Fancy Bourbon Punch, photo provided by EVINS Communications

"Fancy Bourbon Punch, Matt Wallace – Mixologist & Beverage Director, Bar TributeIngredients:• 1 liter Maker’s Mark® Bourbon• 1 cup granulated sugar• Peels of 3 lemons and 1 orange• Juice of peeled fruit• 1 liter of strong tea (preferably green tea)• 250 ml champagne (club soda can be used for a less fancy version)• Freshly grated nutmegDirections:1. Combine sugar and citrus peels in the bottom of a punch bowl. Muddle together until sugar starts to clump together. If time allows, let sit for approx. 2 hours.2. Brew the tea for about 30 minutes, remove loose tea or tea bags, and allow to cool.3. Add the juice of the peeled fruit, tea, and bourbon. Stir.4. Top with champagne just before serving and stir gently. Top with freshly grated nutmeg and serve."

For an elevated punch, this recipe uses a French cognac. The combination of apple cider, Wassail punch and lemon juice creates a bright, flavorful punch. This punch balances the warm spices of the season with the vibrant flavors of fresh fruit.

Ready to serve a glass?

CAMUS Wassail Punch, photo provided by Jonathan Pogash, The CocktailGuru

"CAMUS Wassail Punch by Jonathan Pogash, The CocktailGuru(batch recipe for approx. 20 servings)Ingredients:• 1 750 ml CAMUS Elegance cognac• 1/2 gallon apple cider• 1/2 gallon Wassail punch (from Trader Joe’s)• 1 cup fresh lemon juiceMethod: Add all to a punch bowl. Add fresh cranberries and sliced apples. Stir. Ladle into rocks glasses with ice.Garnish: dehydrated lemon wheel and plenty of freshly grated nutmeg"

Next: Drinkable dessert cocktails, no fork needed

Make sure that your holiday party is a festive one. With a delicious holiday punch, everyone can enjoy a libation without the host being tied to the bar all night long.

Cheers to the holidays!