These festive punches are perfect for a Christmas drinks party. Serve up a warming mulled punch, refreshing cranberry cocktail or a non-alcoholic variety.
On top of cooking all of that food, you’re probably not looking to add even more time and labour to your holiday planning — particularly if you’re hosting for a larger group, it may be easier to make a batch of Christmas punch for guests to serve themselves from.
Cranberry sea breeze punch
100g fresh or frozen cranberries
1l cranberry juice
400ml grapefruit juice
2 limes – cut into round slices
STEP 1: Using two ice cube trays, put one or two cranberries in each square, fill with water and freeze until solid.
STEP 2: Pour the cranberry juice, vodka and grapefruit juice into a punch bowl or large pouring jug and add the lime slices. Add some ice and half the cranberry ice cubes. Divide the remaining cranberry ice cubes between the glasses, then pour in the punch.
100g light muscovado sugar
2 oranges – zest pared, juice squeezed from one, the other cut into chunks
2 cinnamon sticks – broken in half
Little freshly grated nutmeg
1 x 75cl bottle light red wine
1 apple – quartered, cored and thickly sliced
STEP 1:Put the sugar. the orange zest, juice and chunks, cinnamon and nutmeg in a pan with 300ml/ 1/2pt water and bring to boil. Simmer for 10 mins to infuse the spices, then add the wine and apple slices and bring to a simmer. Serve in heatproof glasses.
Pomegranate & rosemary non-alcoholic Christmas punch
1l pomegranate juice
Small bunch rosemary
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
60g soft light brown sugar
1 orange – zest pared
150ml non-alcoholic gin
2 tsp red wine vinegar
80g pomegranate seeds
250-350ml soda water
STEP 1: Put the pomegranate juice, half the rosemary, bay, cloves, cinnamon, sugar, and orange zest in a pan, and bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat. Once steaming, remove from the heat, put on the lid and leave to infuse for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours chilled.
STEP 2: When ready to serve, strain the pomegranate juice into a punch bowl with a handful of ice cubes. Add the non-alcoholic gin, vinegar and pomegranate seeds, and remaining rosemary sprigs. Top up with soda water in the glasses just before serving.