After you’ve welcomed your holiday guests into your home, exchanged pleasantries, and taken their coats, what’s the next thing you usually ask your guests? Chances are it’s some variation of, “Would you like something to drink?”
While the holiday meal often gets the majority of the attention, the drink station is usually one of the first places your guests will go. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have a festive holiday punch ready and waiting for them. Not only is holiday punch delicious and easy to make, it’ll put everyone in a joyful mood. And since we’re focusing on healthier holiday punch recipes, all of the recipes will be alcohol-free. So, you’ll be serving mocktails to your guests this year.
“Mocktails are highly underrated beverages,” according to the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. “By using whole ingredients like fruits, natural sweeteners, herbs, bitters, or fermented foods, you can blend or infuse a healthy mocktail that is so delicious no one will miss that booze.”
Get ready to experience the magic of mocktails with these five healthier holiday punch recipes.
Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch
This Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch recipe is light, refreshing, and not too sweet. And maybe best of all, this recipe only takes five minutes to make, allowing you to focus on other areas of your holiday party prep. The ingredients for this Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch are 100% cranberry juice, sparkling white grape juice, apple cider, ginger ale, oranges, cranberries, and lots of ice. Make sure to chill all of your ingredients prior to making your punch.
When you’re ready to mix the ingredients together, fill a large punch bowl with ice and add all the ingredients except for the cranberries and the oranges, which you’ll cut up into thin slices. You’ll want to add the orange slices and cranberries last so they can float on top, adding beautiful colors to your Non-Alcoholic Christmas Punch.
Healthy Sparkling Christmas Punch (For Kids)
If you’re going to seat the children at your holiday party at the kids’ table, you might as well make them their own healthy holiday punch, too. This Healthy Sparkling Christmas Punch is a variation of the classic version, but without any soda, sorbet, and added sugar. Made with only wholesome ingredients, this punch is perfect for children ages 1 and up.
To make this Healthy Sparkling Christmas Punch, pour orange juice, pineapple juice, and cherry (or pomegranate juice) into a glass, pitcher, or a punch bowl (depending on how much you want to make). You can also add as much sparkling water as you’d like. Then add in a few cups of ice, as well as slices of lemon, lime, and/or orange to make the punch look vibrant.
You can also make DIY Fruit Sticks with the children if you’d like to do an activity together. Place sliced strawberries, pineapple chunks, orange wedges, and any other fruits that you’d like to add on a plate or cutting board. Then fill a small cup with sticks and let each child pick and thread their fruit on the stick. After that, they can either put their fruit stick on top of their cup of punch or place it inside of it. And for the record, there’s no age-limit for making fruit sticks so feel free to do this with the adults, as well.
The Sleigh Driver is a non-alcoholic punch that adds pears, cranberries, and vanilla to the traditional hot cider. This recipe requires 1 cup of water, ½ cup of sugar, a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced), 3 pears (chopped into bite-size pieces), 2 quarts of apple cider, and 1 lemon (halved and sliced). All-in, it will take you 50 minutes to make this punch, which will serve 10 people.
Place the water, sugar, ginger, and 1 pear in a large saucepan, bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and stir. Then strain out the solids and return the mixture to the pan. After that, add the remaining pears, cider, and lemon and heat over medium-high heat, stirring often for 15 minutes. Then add cranberries and vanilla and reduce the heat to medium-low. At this point, the liquid should be simmering and not boiling. Let it simmer for 10 more minutes and then serve it in heat-safe mugs.
You can also choose to make this punch a day ahead, as well. If you decide to do that, cover and refrigerate the punch for up to 1 day and reheat it on the stovetop over low heat.
Cranberry-Apple Cider Punch
This Cranberry-Apple Cider Punch is an easy to make drink that will only take you five minutes to mix together. In a 4-quart container, stir together 4 cups of apple cider, 2 cups of cranberry juice cocktail, 2 cups of ginger ale, and 1 (12 ounce) can of frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed). Prior to adding the first three ingredients, make sure that they’re all chilled.
After stirring the ingredients together, refrigerate the punch until serving time. Just before serving, place the punch into a punch bowl. You can garnish with frozen cranberries and orange peel curls if you’d like. Or you can use a rosemary cranberry sprig as a garnish for this festive mocktail with a beautiful red hue.
Billed as ‘a party in a bowl,’ this Cran-Raspberry-Vanilla Punch is a festive, top-notch non-alcoholic choice. In order to make about 3 ½ quarts of the Cran-Raspberry-Vanilla-Punch, this recipe calls for 6 cups of 100% cranberry-raspberry juice, 6 cups of sparkling cranberry flavored beverage, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, 1 pint of raspberry sorbet, and frozen whole cranberries as a garnish.
When you’re ready to make this Christmas-red punch, set aside ten minutes and add the first three ingredients. Then stir the cranberry-raspberry juice, sparkling cranberry flavored beverage, and the vanilla extract together. Right before you’re ready to serve this holiday hit, add the raspberry sorbet to make this punch extra special. Or as Southern Living says, “It just really isn’t Christmas in the South without at least one punch bowl speckled with floating mounds of sherbet.”