Christmas Punch has been my go-to holiday drink for 10+ years and it’s one of the most popular holiday recipes on my site! It’s so delicious (thanks to a secret ingredient) and perfectly festive, and the whole family loves it! Plus it only takes minutes to make.
Easy Christmas Punch Recipe
I can still remember the first Thanksgiving I made this, I immediately fell in love.
It isn’t very sweet which was perfect for me because I’m not a big fun of extra sweet drinks (if you love sweet though feel free to add in about 1/3 cup sugar with the cranberry juice then mix and dissolve before adding in the soda).
It really has the most delicious blend of flavors. The combination did seem strange to me at first with ginger ale, cranberries, pineapple juice and the secret ingredient of almond extract but truly it just works!
I mean just think about all the tasty foods that use almond extract – Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies, our absolute favorite Birthday Cake, this Banana Almond Flax Smoothie, and those irresistible Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes.
Almond extract makes everything good! It add such a unique yet perfectly warm and welcoming flavor and it just brings so much to this punch.
After one sip you’ll see what all the hype is about. It will likely become a new staple holiday family tradition!
Also this year with smaller gatherings you can definitely half the recipe if needed. Or just serve the leftover the next day like we do. It’s a bit flat but still so tasty.
Christmas Punch Recipe Ingredients
- Cranberry juice or pomegranate cranberry juice: Look for 100% juice blend. Not 100% cranberry juice alone but a blend of cranberry, apple, grape etc. Don’t use cranberry juice cocktail which is usually only about 20% juice with a lot of added sugar.
- Pineapple juice: I like to use Dole not from concentrate in the can.
- Almond extract: You can find this by the vanilla extract in the baking isle.
- Ginger ale: For more natural flavor I recommend avoiding diet (with artificial sugar sweeteners) unless it’s for diet restrictions.
- Fresh cranberries and limes: These ingredients are optional for decorative use. Keep in mind you’ll only want add cranberries if you are using a dispenser, you don’t want people ladling cranberries into drink cups which would be a potential choking hazard especially for kids.
- Ice: If you used well chilled juices and soda you don’t necessarily have to add this.
Scroll below for full printable recipe.
Can I Add Alcohol?
If you want to make it for adults only others have mentioned success adding vodka or rum, though I myself haven’t tried so I couldn’t say for sure on amounts.
How to Make Christmas Punch
- Pour cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and almond extract into a large drink dispenser and mix.
- Pour in ginger ale and give it one quick stir.
- Add in cranberries, ice and ginger ale.
- If you like it super bubbly then serve within a few hours as it can start to go flat.
Can I scale down the punch recipe?
I used to make a slightly smaller version of this recipe but I’ve listed what perfectly fits in my drink dispenser, which is enough to serve to a small crowd.
But you can easily bump it down to the 2 liter version if you don’t need that much and don’t want to purchase two bottles of soda.
- 2 liters ginger ale
- 4 cups cranberry juice
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 2 tsp almond extract
We have an almond allergy what can we substitute?
I would say the almond extract is a must unless of course there is an allergy, in which case you substitute a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract.
Tips for Perfect Christmas Punch
- Use good quality “100% juice,” skip juice “beverage” or “cocktail” (they have added water, sweeteners, and or flavors). Don’t use 100% cranberry only juice it’s much too tart.
- Use chilled ingredients. If the soda and juices are cold beforehand you don’t need to add as much ice, therefore it won’t be so diluted.
- Don’t be tempted to stir or you’ll stir more than once when adding the soda or you’ll start to stir out the carbonation.
- Garnish it. Drinks taste better when they look better. The cranberries and limes are optional but I’d say at least use one or the other (unless serving from a pitcher or punch bowl, skip cranberries due to choking hazard).
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- 6 cups cranberry juice or pomegranate cranberry juice*
- 3 cups pineapple juice**
- 1 Tbsp almond extract
- 3 liters ginger ale
- 1 (12 oz.) bag fresh cranberries (optional)
- 2 fresh limes, sliced (optional)
- Pour cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and almond extract into a large drink dispenser and mix. Pour in ginger ale and give it one quick stir.
- Add in cranberries, ice and ginger ale. Serve within a few hours for best results as it will start to go flat.