A beautiful party punch that’s easy for everyone to love! Fruity and effervescent, it goes with all types of foods and party atmospheres, from cozy holiday gatherings to cookouts and birthday parties. The core recipe is just 5 ingredients, and you can customize from there to create seasonal variations. Winter and Summer versions included here.
Every party needs a selection of beverages to make things festive and comforting for everyone! This party punch is my go-to, crowd-sized, thirst-quencher, and can be served with a variety of party foods and party moods. 🙂 And while you can definitely spike this punch (more on that in a sec), the non-alcoholic version is kid-friendly and caffeine-free.
You can prepare this party punch in just minutes, and it’s ready to go! Just mix it up in your favorite punch bowl, top with creamy sorbet or sherbet, and serve. I first made this punch over a decade ago, and it’s been a party staple ever since. The ingredients are easy to find in both grocery and convenience stores, so, no extra trip to a specialty store required.
Holiday Party Punch (Winter Version)
My original punch recipe — the Summer version below — is beautiful and fruity and fizzy and perfect, filled with the complementary flavors of zesty ginger ale, sweet-tart lemonade, fizzy lemon-lime soda, and bright orange juice.
But this year, I decided to tweak it ever so slightly. I wanted a deep red color for a holiday version of the punch. I also wanted to introduce a gentle tartness to this otherwise sweet punch, to cut the rich foods and appetizers of the season.
I accomplished both by adding a nice pour of pomegranate juice (readily available bottled in the produce department of most grocery stores). The color it brings is just gorgeous!
To carry the winter fruit, pomegranate theme further, I added pomegranate ariels to the punch bowl for a smattering of tiny ruby jewels, and to add a surprising juicy crunch. (It’s a delightful touch, but alert your guests so they’re not alarmed by large particles floating in their punch.)
For a smooth and creamy touch, and to deepen the holiday “red,” add scoops of a really good raspberry sorbet. It will gently foam and melt and spread over the surface, floating above the bubbly, effervescent punch.
Every sip is heaven: a touch of smooth sorbet cut by the perky fizziness of the liquids. Stopping at one cup is wonderfully impossible. Make the full batch in the recipe: you’ll need it!
Can this party punch be made at the last minute?
Yes! This recipe uses frozen juice concentrates, unthawed: even if your sodas are room temperature, the frozen concentrates will chill everything down nicely. Not to ice-cold levels but enough so that the punch is highly drinkable. The sorbet/sherbet will help to keep the punch cool as well.
Quick chilling tips: plastic (such as a two-liter bottle) is a terrible conductor of temperature. Metal, however, is awesome (as is glass). If you need to chill things down a few hours before your party, buy one 6-pack of ginger ale and one 6-pack of lemon-lime soda (instead of 2-liters). In a big cooler, add a layer of ice and sprinkle a sizable pinch salt over the ice (use a granulated salt, such as rock or pickling, or, in a pinch, kosher).
Nestle the cans into the ice, then pour in water up to the level of the ice. Add more ice to cover the cans, sprinkle more salt, then top with water again. The salt lowers the freezing point of the water so that it chills more deeply, and the metal of the cans transmits the cold to the liquid inside. The sodas will chill down quite quickly.
Can the party punch be made ahead of time?
Yes! You can mix up the liquids several hours before your party, and store in the fridge (wait until ready to serve to scoop the sorbet/sherbet on top).
Keep in mind that carbonated beverages begin to lose their fizz once exposed to the air, so avoid making the punch earlier than the morning of.
I rarely have extra room on party day in my regular-sized fridge, so, in the winter I take full advantage of Mother Nature’s Refrigeration: I stash the soda bottles and champagne outside for a couple of hours (preferably tucked in the snow). As long as it’s not the Artic tundra out there, lol, the liquids will be icy cold without getting slushy or frozen.
In the summer, I use the quick chill method above in a cooler, along with the other bottled/canned drinks I’ll be serving at the party.
A spiked version of Holiday Party Punch
Sticking with the bubbly, effervescent theme of this punch, I would highly recommend — for both holiday and summer versions — adding a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, champagne, or even prosecco. It’s hard to go back to plain ole mimosas, once you’ve had this spiked Party Punch!
I do not, however, recommend spirits such as rum or tequila. They have their charms in this punch, for sure, but those heavy liquors fundamentally change the body of the punch. They tamp down the fizz, for one thing, and their strong, distinct flavors easily overpower the other ingredients. It’s a different punch.
Party Punch (Summer Version)
So, this is the original version, fruity with lots of orange juice, and topped with smooth and creamy rainbow sherbet. Wonderfully simple, but flavorful and crave-worthy.
And it’s so pretty in the bowl!
BTW, the punch bowl I used in these photo here is only about 90 ounces — strictly for photography purposes, because it’s glass, so you can see the punch. My actual party bowl is a
Holiday Party Punch is perfect for Christmas and New Years, as well as the Super Bowl, and Valentine’s Day (don’t forget the champagne!), and is absolutely beautiful on your table!
for the winter version
- 2 liter bottle ginger ale chilled (recommend Cranberry flavor, for color)
- 2 liter bottle lemon-lime soda chilled
- 12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
- 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate recommend pink lemonade for color
- 1 cup pomegranate juice chilled
- 1 pint raspberry sorbet for garnish
- Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
for the summer version
- 2 liter bottle ginger ale
- 2 liter bottle lemon-lime soda
- 12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
- 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
- 1 pint rainbow or orange sherbet
- In a very large punch bowl, add all of the liquid ingredients, and stir well until the frozen juices have melted. Top the punch with small scoops of the sorbet or sherbet, adding plenty so each guest can add a scoop to their cup if desired. For the winter version, sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the punch, if using.
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