10 Holiday Wine Punches
Heated or chilled, Asian-inspired or all-American, wine punches will free you from behind the bar during your next holiday soirée. So mix up a big batch before the party and get ready to mingle. These made-to-ladle libations practically pour themselves.
Recipe courtesy Francesco Amodeo, beverage director, Lupo Verde, Washington, D.C.
“Paisano Punch was inspired by a very old Italian festive drink that originally mixed leftover wine together,” says Amodeo. “We modernized it a little bit to allow our guests to have a fun and simple cocktail option for their parties.”
1½ cups Lambrusco Amabile Cantina di Sorbara
1½ cups Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
1 cup Don Ciccio & Figli Limoncello
5 ounces fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
5 ounces cold-pressed pomegranate juice
5 ounces lemon juice
1 cup alkaline water (available at health and specialty stores)
15 drops orange bitters
15 drops lemon bitters
2 oranges, sliced
2 lemons, sliced
Basil leaves, for garnish
Combine wines, limoncello, juices, water and bitters into a punchbowl, and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or add a large ice block to chill. Add orange and lemon slices to punchbowl before serving. Ladle into wine glasses and garnish with a basil leaf, if desired. Serves 8.
Adapted from Cocktails for a Crowd by Kara Newman, spirits editor, Wine Enthusiast
“This drink classic isn’t typically served as a punch, but it works surprisingly well in this format,” says Newman. “Serve this fresh, fragrant variation at any occasion where toasting is expected, like New Year’s Eve.”
1 cup lemon juice
2 cups gin, like Tanqueray
¾ cup simple syrup
½ teaspoon orange bitters
4 cups cold dry Champagne, or other sparkling wine
8 orange wheels, for garnish
Pour lemon juice, gin, simple syrup, bitters and Champagne into a punchbowl, and stir to combine. (If making ahead, add the Champagne at the very last minute.) Add large ice block to chill. Garnish with orange wheels. Serves 8.
—Photo courtesy Teri Lyn Fisher
Recipe courtesy Anthony Schmidt, co-owner Rare Form, San Diego
Yes, this drink is named after the famous singer/actress (and we think it’s the perfect Hanukkah party punch).
“At Rare Form, we’ve embraced all types of deli cuisine, with Jewish deli being a major influence,” says Schmidt. “Naming a cocktail after one of the most epic Jewish performing artists seemed ideal. Typically served as a single serving, it’s light enough to drink more than one without getting too buzzed.”
½ cup Aperol
½ cup St. George Spirits Raspberry Liqueur
2 cups dry rosé wine
8 dashes bitters
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups club soda
Fresh raspberries, if desired
Lemon wheels, if desired
Grapefruit wheels, if desired
To prepare the punch, combine Aperol, liqueur, rosé, bitters and juice in a punchbowl. Stir a few times. Add club soda and a large ice chunk to the punchbowl just before serving. Garnish with fresh raspberries and lemon and grapefruit wheels, if desired. Serves 4–6.
Recipe courtesy Grand Marnier
Highlighting the fresh notes of citrus fruits found in Cognac-based Grand Marnier and the velvety, plummy tones of Merlot, this is truly a wine lover’s punch.
½ cup Grand Marnier
¼ cup mulled simple syrup (see recipe below)
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 bottle Merlot, chilled
1 cup fresh blackberries or raspberries
2 lemons, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 apples, red and green, cored and cut into ½-inch wedges
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine Grand Marnier with mulled simple syrup and lemon juice in a punchbowl and let stand for at least 1 hour. Stir in the orange juice and Merlot. Add fresh berries, sliced lemons, oranges, apples and cinnamon sticks. Serve in ice-filled punch cups or wine glasses. Serves 7–8.
Mulled simple syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Pinch star anise
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add spices and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain. Yields about ½ cup syrup.
Recipe courtesy Stephen Cole, owner and bar director, Barrelhouse Flat, Chicago
Use a slow cooker to produce this gløgg variation infused with Sherry, Port and Cognac. Served hot, there’s something whimsical about pouring it from an oversized teapot.
1 bottle of Port
1 bottle of full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon
2½ cups Cognac
1 cup Lustau Solera Sherry (or any sweet variation of sherry)
3 ¾-inch cinnamon sticks
½ cup whole-blade mace (nutmeg’s outer shell), loose, not packed (found in gourmet shops or available online)
1½ cups Demerara sugar
8 star anise pods crushed
6 cardamom pods
1 cup raisins
Peels from 2 oranges
Combine Port, red wine, Cognac, Sherry, spices, raisins and orange peel into a slow cooker or a large pot over low heat. Cook for 45 minutes on low. Do not overheat, or the alcohol will evaporate. Strain into a large teapot or other serving vessel, and pour into punch cups or teacups. Serve warm. Serves 8.
Recipe courtesy Eric Brooks, head bartender, CBD Provisions, Dallas
“Punches are perfect for holiday entertaining because you can easily double or triple the recipe, depending on how big your party gets,” says Brooks. Case in point: This rich, easy-to-make punch that easily serves 12.
9 ounces fresh lime juice
9 ounces simple syrup
3 ounces St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
1½ cups Sharecropper’s Cabernet Sauvignon
1½ cups Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac
6–8 star anise pods, for garnish
Combine lime juice, simple syrup, Allspice Dram, Cabernet and Cognac into a large punchbowl, and stir well. Add star anise pods for garnish. Place a large ice block into the punchbowl before serving in punch cups. Serves 12.
Recipe courtesy Jaime Martin Del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu, chefs, Mexicano, Los Angeles
Also known as hibiscus punch, this ponche recipe is popular in Mexico during the holidays. There are many variations, but most contain red wine and local spirits like Tequila, along with sugar and Christmastime spices.
6 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 teaspoon allspice
1 bottle red wine
½ cup sugar
1 cup Tequila
Pour water into a large pot set over high heat and add cinnamon, hibiscus, allspice and cloves. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes. Add wine and sugar, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove mixture from heat, strain into punchbowl or pitcher and add Tequila. Serve hot. Serves 12.
Recipe courtesy Jennifer Otts, mixologist, The Drawing Room, Charleston, South Carolina
Garnished with pomegranate kernels that symbolize prosperity, your friends will be impressed with this original punch that incorporates smoky mezcal and Vranec-based wine from Macedonia. If you can’t find it, sub in any fruit-forward, low-tannin red wine for similarly intriguing results.
For the punch:
½ cup hibiscus-infused Ilegal Joven Mezcal (recipe below)
1 bottle Tikves Vranec
½ cup borage flower syrup (recipe below)
½ cup Hayman’s Sloe Gin
Juice of 2 lemons
Combine hibiscus-infused mezcal with Vranec, syrup, sloe gin and lemon juice in a punchbowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. When ready to serve, ladle into punch cups filled with ice and serve with pomegranate kernels, for garnish. Serves 6.
To infuse mezcal:
1 bottle Ilegal Joven Mezcal
1 cup hibiscus flowers
Combine 1 bottle of mezcal with 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers. Allow to steep for up to 1 week. Strain out flowers and transfer back to bottle.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup borage flowers (available at Whole Foods, or other natural grocers)
Zest of 1 orange
Pinch of cloves
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Dissolve sugar in hot water, and add flowers, orange zest and cloves. Reduce heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Strain into container. Yields approximately 1 cup.
Recipe courtesy Mike Ryan, head bartender, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Chicago
This punch riffs on German-style mulled wine called Glüwhein, though this version is served cold and features Genever, “which gives it a nice, malty kick,” says Ryan.
1 750-ml bottle of Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon
1 750-ml bottle of Genever
33 ounces brewed black tea, cooled
13 ounces clove-persimmon honey (or local honey)
1 cup fresh lemon juice
½ bottle Luxardo Amaro
Five oranges, sliced into wheels, for garnish
Cloves, for garnish
In a large punchbowl, combine red wine with Genever, black tea, honey, lemon juice and Amaro. Refrigerate for a few hours. In the meantime, slice orange wheels and stud along the peels with cloves. To serve, add a large ice block to punchbowl. Ladle into cups or glasses, and garnish with orange wheel. Serves 8–10.
This punch was inspired by a warm saké that Johnson infused with Fuji apples. “It literally tasted like hot apple pie,” he says. “To make it more punch-like, more delicate, I lightened it up with sparkling wine.”
6 Fuji or Roma apples
4 cups water
½ cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 pieces star anise
2 oranges, peeled and sliced (reserve the peel of 1 orange)
2 bottles Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo Saké
1 bottle, sparkling wine
Peel and core the apples, then cut into quarters. Place into a stockpot with the water and sugar over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.
Add cloves, cinnamon, star anise and the orange peel to the pot. Cover and cook on medium heat until the apples are soft, but not mushy, approximately 10–15 minutes.
Strain the liquid into a punchbowl, and add the saké, sparkling wine and reserved orange slices. Stir the punch and ladle into cups. Serves 8–10.
- 1Paisano Punch
- 2French 75 Punch
- 3Streisand Spritz
- 4Grand Holiday Sangria
- 5Grandma’s “Tea”
- 6Cognac & Spice Punch
- 7Ponche de Jamaica
- 8Starflower Punch
- 9Rodin’s Spiced Punch
- 10Mama Fujimoto’s Apple Punch