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The More, the Merrier: A Christmas Party Punch

Experienced holiday hosts know better than to burden themselves with a feature cocktail that requires single-serve preparation because merry-making is much more enjoyable when guests’ drinks can be served on the go – but that doesn’t mean they have to be of the whiskey-and-Coke variety. 

Here’s a flavorful batch cocktail that will pair well with both the gingerbread cookies and the turkey, plus look dashing in Grandma’s special-occasion-only crystal glassware. The bonus? With cranberry, cherry, spice and ginger, this concoction tastes delicious booze-free, so a double batch can provide a spiked version and a kid-friendly version.

We’ve offered a single-serve recipe, but we also did the math for you to make either of the two batch recipes to spur the festive spirit at your intimate holiday gathering or larger-scale soirée. 

Photo by Len Villano.

Single-Serve

  • 1½ oz light rum (optional)
  • ½ oz cranberry juice
  • ½ oz simple syrup 
  • ½ oz tart-cherry juice
  • Dash allspice
  • Dash fresh ginger, grated
  • Dash fresh nutmeg, grated 
  • 2 oz ginger ale or ginger beer

Garnish options: ground ginger, sliced ginger, fresh cranberries or a sprig of rosemary

Batch of 4

  • 6 oz light rum (optional)
  • 2 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz tart-cherry juice
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 8 oz ginger ale or ginger beer

Garnish options: ground ginger, sliced ginger, fresh cranberries or a sprig of rosemary

Batch of 12

  • 18 oz light rum (optional)
  • 6 oz cranberry juice
  • 6 oz simple syrup
  • 6 oz tart-cherry juice
  • 1½ tsp allspice
  • 1½ tsp fresh ginger, grated 
  • 1½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
  • 24 oz ginger ale or ginger beer

Garnish options: ground ginger, sliced ginger, fresh cranberries or a sprig of rosemary

If making a single serving, combine all of the ingredients except the nutmeg and ginger ale (or ginger beer) in a shaker with ice and shake. Leave out the rum for a nonalcoholic version. Strain into a rocks glass over ice, top with the ginger ale (or ginger beer), sprinkle with the nutmeg and add a garnish.

If making a batch, leave out the ice, then combine all of the ingredients except the nutmeg and ginger ale (or ginger beer) in an empty juice jug and shake, or combine the ingredients in a pitcher and stir until well combined. Leave out the rum for a nonalcoholic version. Pour into a rocks glass over ice, top with the ginger ale (or ginger beer), sprinkle with the nutmeg and add a garnish.

For party prep, store the batch in a pitcher or beverage dispenser with a spigot. Pour into a rocks glass over ice, top with ginger ale (or ginger beer), sprinkle with the nutmeg and add a garnish. Keep refrigerated if preparing a batch in advance.