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How to Make Punch

Updated March 27, 2020
Hot or cold, punch is the perfect party drink for almost any occasion.

Punch gathers people around the bowl just to chat, so pull up a chair and prepare for a good read. It is easy to put together and there are as many recipes as there are types of parties, so be creative and have fun with it!

How to Make Cold Punch

cherry infused dr pepper punch

Make cold punch with clear soda pop (lemon lime or ginger ale), fruit juice (pineapple, orange, lemonade, cranberry, grapefruit or apple) and sherbet (any flavor). With these ingredients, punch is sweet. Making it with 100% fruit juice or frozen fruit juice concentrate and water is lighter than powdered drink mixes or sugary fruit drinks. Cut some of the sweetness and calories by using diet soda or by adding sparkling water or seltzer to make the punch a little bubbly. Give this party favorite an added "punch" by throwing in slices of lemon, lime, orange, kiwi or watermelon at the end.

Keep the ingredients chilled before mixing the punch. Mix fruit juices and spices ahead of time and chill, but add alcohol, soda pop, sherbet, ice cream or sparkling water right before serving.

How to Make Hot Punch

wassail punch

Hot punch is a fun drink to serve at fall and winter parties. Unlike cold punch, serve hot punch right from the stove or in a slow cooker. Make hot punch using tea bags, apple cider, or coffee. Add floating apple slices, cinnamon sticks or candy canes. Depending on the base, try tossing in some cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, honey, whipped cream or ice cream for flavor.

What’s the Best Alcohol for Punch?

fishbowl punch

Add a splash of vodka, rum, eggnog liqueur, champagne, wine or whiskey to hot or cold punch. Because punch is sweet and easy to drink fast, watch how much and how fast your comrades are drinking if they have to drive. It's a good idea to have a batch of a non-alcoholic version on hand, too.

How to Make Non-Alcoholic Punch

cherry infused dr pepper punch

Non-alcoholic punch is easy to make—just leave out the booze! If you’re looking for inspiration on how to make your kid-friendly punch a party star, we have a bunch of 20-and-under recipes to inspire you.

Punch It Up!

Mini Bundt Punch Rings

For an extra bit of fun, make your own ice ring or ice flowers. Fill the bottom of a Bundt pan with fruit juice and freeze overnight. For added texture, drop some small pieces of fruit into the ring before freezing. Pop the ring out and add it to the punch just before serving. Just be sure to measure the bottom of the Bundt pan to make sure it will fit inside of the punch bowl. If you really want the look and it's too big for your punch bowl, buy a mini Bundt cake pan instead. Switch it up by using flower ice cube trays filled with juice instead of water but leave out the fruit unless you chop it really small.

More Punch Recipes

non alcoholic spiced sangria punch

Ready to quench your thirst? You won’t want to miss out on our big list of punch recipes. Drink responsibly!