Bright, bubbly and a little bit boozy, this easy Cranberry Vodka Christmas Punch recipe is a delicious way to toast the holiday season!
Punch is one of the best ways to serve up a big batch of party drinks. Make it ahead of time, and you can mingle as much as you please because you are no longer tied to mixing up drinks for your guests.
This festive Cranberry Vodka Christmas Punch makes holiday entertaining a breeze. With 5 ingredients - vodka, cranberry & lime juices, simple syrup and lemon-lime soda - this seasonal party punch is light, refreshing and easy to make. Perfect for seasonal celebration!
This punch has only five ingredients:
- Citrus vodka (I used Absolut Citron, but Belevedere, Grey Goose, Stolichnaya and even Smirnoff make citrus vodkas)
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Fresh lime juice
- Simple syrup (It’s easy to make your own simple syrup at home. We’ve got a step-by-step guide to show you how!)
- Lemon-lime soda (7-up, Sprite, etc.)
Note: It’s KEY that you use UNSWEETENED cranberry juice because you also add soda and simple syrup to this recipe. If you use sweetened juice, your punch will be far too sweet. I’ve had good luck with both Ocean Spray and Knudsen Juice unsweetened cranberry juices.
The beauty of an alcoholic punch for a crowd is it requires little more than stirring ingredients together.
- Chill all ingredients thoroughly.
- Add ingredients to a punch bowl or large pitcher. Gently stir to combine.
- Ladle punch into low ball glasses filled with ice. Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cranberries, if desired. Serve immediately.
You can! I suggest making the base (vodka, juices and simple syrup) ahead of time. You can keep it in the fridge until just before guests arrive. Then add the chilled soda right before the party begins so it doesn’t go flat.
This recipe makes around 15 (1-cup) servings in low ball glasses. If you use smaller glasses (say short plastic punch glasses), then you should estimate 30 (½-cup) servings per recipe.
A good rule of thumb for punch portions is to assume that guests will drink between 1-2 glasses of punch in the first hour and then another 1 glass per hour after that. Of course, this is entirely dependent on the type of party (you’ll probably serve fewer drinks at a baby shower vs. a tailgating party) and if you are serving additional beverages like wine or beer.
If you’re unsure about your alcoholic punch quantities and don’t want to waste ingredients, try making one batch in advance and then have the ingredients for a second (or third) batch ready to go if you see the first batch going quickly. Since punch is so easy to make, you can easily stir together another batch on a moment’s notice.
Tips for making punch
- Make your punch base up to 12 hours ahead of time. This gives the flavors a chance to meld together as well as ensures the punch is thoroughly chilled before guests arrive.
- You can also assemble garnishes in advance. Slice those citrus wedges and twists or thread your cocktail skewers so all that’s left to do is add them to the beverage buffet.
- Add bubbles just before the party starts. If your punch calls for carbonated ingredients (alcoholic or not), stir them in just before the party starts. If you add them too early, they will go flat before the doorbell even rings.
- Keep your punch cold throughout the night. Avoid adding ice cubes to a punch bowl as they will quickly melt and dilute the punch. Either add a large block of molded ice to the bowl to minimize dilution with a slow melt or do as I do and serve the punch in pitchers that are placed in ice baths. You can also add an ice bucket filled with ice cubes to your beverage buffet for guests to add to their own punch glasses.
More cranberry cocktails
- Cranberry and Apple Cider is perfect for any fall gathering.
- Cranberry juice and orange liqueur give this Prosecco Cocktail a beautiful blush color and festive flavor.
- This Whiskey Sour Cocktail also has a seasonal cranberry twist and is also a great batch drink for groups.
- Add cranberry to a classic Vodka Gimlet recipe and you have a stunning 4-ingredient cocktail.
- Love vodka cranberry drinks? Try this Gin & Cranberry cocktail that’s topped with a splash of bubbles.
- A Cranberry Martini is a tasty spin on a traditional cosmo made with blackberry vodka.
Cranberry Vodka Christmas Punch
- 6 cups citrus vodka
- 18 ounces unsweetened cranberry juice
- 18 ounces fresh lime juice
- 12 ounces simple syrup
- 24 ounces lemon lime soda
- Stir together all ingredients in a pitcher or punch bowl. Serve over ice in low ball glasses and garnish with lime wedges and fresh cranberries, if desired.
- Make sure you use UNSWEETENED cranberry juice. A sweetened variety will make the punch much too sweet.
- If making and serving immediately, make sure all ingredients are well-chilled before combining. If making punch in advance, stir in the lemon lime soda just before serving.
- I prefer to serve this punch over ice in the glasses rather than add ice to the pitcher/punch bowl to avoid diluting the drink prematurely.
Nutrition info not guaranteed to be accurate.
This Cranberry Vodka Christmas Punch recipe is always a hit with guests who love a good vodka cranberry or cosmopolitan cocktail. One sip and it might just become your go-to drink for family parties and get togethers, too!