Christmas Punch

November 22, 2020  ·  Published November 19, 2017

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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.

Christmas Punch

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.

Punch recipe. Shown here in a mug with a dispenser of punch in the background.

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.Christmas Punch

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.

Christmas Punch

How to Make Christmas Punch

  1. Pour cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and almond extract into a large drink dispenser and mix.
  2. Pour in ginger ale and give it one quick stir.
  3. Add in cranberries, ice and ginger ale.
  4. If you like it super bubbly then serve within a few hours as it can start to go flat.

Christmas Punch

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.

Christmas Punch

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).

Picture of a dispenser of punch being poured into a single serve cup.

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Christmas Punch
5 from 55 votes

Christmas Punch

My families favorite punch! I've been making this for the holidays for 10+ years. A blend of soda, juices and almond extract - it may seem like a strange combination but together they taste amazing! 
Servings: 14
Prep5 minutes
Ready in: 5 minutes


  • 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)
  • Ice


  • 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.


*This is not 100% cranberry juice, it is 100% juice but it has a blend of other juices in it such as grape, apple, pear. 100% cranberry juice would be much too tart here. Use something like Oceanspray.
**If you have room in your fridge preferably chill the soda and juices first or keep them in a cold (not freezing) garage, that way you don't need to add much ice and dilute it.
Nutrition Facts
Christmas Punch
Amount Per Serving
Calories 151
% Daily Value*
Sodium 20mg1%
Potassium 173mg5%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Sugar 34g38%
Vitamin C 6mg7%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Recipe inspired by All Recipes.

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  • Darlene

    I served this at a Christmas party Sunday night and everyone raved about it and came back for refills! Several ladies asked for the recipe. The almond extract does give it that extra special flavor. So glad I found this recipe! Thank you!

    Just a note–I served from a punch bowl. Although I froze the cranberries (I read somewhere that frozen cranberries sink instead of float), and no matter how hard I tried to keep them out, they ended up in the punch ladle. So it is probably better to serve as pictured. Just my opinion.

  • Carol Starr Taylor

    Sorry. Me again. Your recipe is confusing. You have different measurements. I see 2 bottles of Gingerale. 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)

    But then you have THIS?

    2 liters ginger ale
    4 cups cranberry juice
    2 cups pineapple juice
    2 tsp almond extract

    Which one is it?

    Do I purchase a 1.75 Gallon dispenser or a 2.5 gallon dispenser or 3-5 gallon dispenser.

    Please advise

  • Carol Starr Taylor

    I hope you get this asap. I’m planning on an event and this sounds Ahhhmazing. What size is your beverage container. I see the average one to purchase is 2.5 Gallon

    Soooo What size do I need to buy for this exact recipe? Do I purchase a 2.5 Gallon? Bigger? I’m so confused and FYI I really don’t cook.

    A response would be greatly appreciated 🙏

  • Connie Palmario

    I do not quite understand, why do I add in ginger ale separately. Can I just put it in same time?

  • Mae

    This was a hit at our Christmas Eve party! This is a great recipe! I added Fireball whiskey to my cup and it’s now my favorite! Others did the same and loved it as well!
    Thank you!!

  • Amy

    The serving size says 14. How many ounces is a serving?
    I want a total of 12 gallons of punch, and I am trying to figure out how to scale the recipe. I think it is the 3 liters of ginger ale that is throwing me off on doing the math.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It makes about 22 cups per batch. It sounds like you need 192 cups so I’d make 9 times the recipe.

  • Megan

    Followed the recipe exactly as is, and it was fantastic! Thanks to Christy’s comments below, I placed a little sign next to it noting the almond extract to warn anyone with nut allergies. Everyone kept going back for seconds, thirds, fourths, etc. ;) I made an ice ring out of the two juices and froze cranberries and lime slices throughout – it made a very pretty punch. I’m certain vodka would pair fantastically with it. This is now my forever punch recipe. Thank you, Jaclyn!

  • Peg Strass

    We made this recipe for a retirement party at the Westfield Fire Department in Westfield, IN. Our guests and employees loved it! Thank you so very much. It was the highlight of our luncheon. I will be making it for a swim team holiday party next :)