For a beautiful and budget-friendly holiday drink, try this Cranberry Ginger Sparkling Punch. I’ve got lots of variations for you to try too!
I love to entertain during the holidays, but boy, it can get expensive preparing enough food and drinks for crowds of people multiple times, just weeks, or even days apart, so I’m always looking for ways to serve something special and indulgent without breaking my holiday budget.
Three cheers to the inventors of Sprite and ginger ale, because these sweet, bubbly sodas make the perfect base for a budget-friendly, quick and easy holiday sparkling punch, to which all sorts of juices and spirits can be added.
The Cranberry Ginger Punch Base
The base recipe, which is perfect on its own, is a simple mixture of Sprite or ginger ale, jellied cranberry sauce (which we all have an abundance of this time of year), and freshly grated ginger. That’s it. That’s the base, and it’s as pretty as it is delicious.
You heat the cranberry sauce and the ginger in a saucepan until the gel turns into a thick liquid. If you’re not a fan of pulp in your drinks, or want to remove the small cranberry pieces from the punch, pour the heated cranberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pushing the mixture through with a spoon. Discard the pulp and pour the smooth liquid into the punch bowl or drink dispenser.
Not used to fresh ginger? Freezing ginger before grating makes peeling and grating faster and easier. And skip the veggie peeler and use the tip of a dinner spoon to easily peel the fresh ginger.
Rim wine glasses or small cups with sugar, pop in a few fresh cranberries for a pretty garnish, and holiday punch is served!
Customize Your Punch
This base also pairs perfectly with so many juices and plain or flavored alcohols, so it’s easy to change things up for the kids and adults. Below are some of my favorite mix-ins — keep in mind additional liquid will add more servings, so plan ahead for punch bowls and drink dispenser volumes.
Cranberry Ginger Punch mix-ins:
- Stir in 3 cups fresh orange juice for cranberry-orange-ginger.
Adults, add vodka for Madras Punch, or a bottle of your favorite wine for Holiday Sangria.
- Stir in 3 cups fresh apple cider for cran-apple-ginger.
Adults, add a bottle of white zinfandel or a red blend for Holiday Sangria.
- Stir in 2 cups mango puree for cranberry-mango-ginger.
Adults, add light rum for Holiday Rum Punch.
- Stir in the juice of four large limes for cranberry-lime-ginger.
Adults, add vodka for Cape Cod Punch.
- Stir in 2 cups raspberry puree for cran-raspberry-ginger.
Adults, add vodka or white wine for Cran-Raspberry Sparkling Punch.
- Stir in 3 cups pomegranate juice for cranberry-pom-ginger.
Adults, add vodka, triple sec, and lime for a Holiday Cosmopolitan Punch.
If you need a sparkling punch that’s both kid- and adult-friendly, serve the alcohol on the side, so everyone can add their own. No one will want to miss out on this beautiful and delicious holiday punch!Print
This festive, sparkling punch uses leftover cranberry sauce and fresh ginger to zing up your favorite citrus soda or ginger ale. See the post above for great variations – with and without alcohol.
- 2 (14 oz.) cans jellied cranberry sauce
- 2 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 (2 liter) bottle chilled Sprite or ginger ale
- 5 cups prepared ice cubes
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, stir together cranberry sauce and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until gel has turned to a thick liquid, about 5 minutes. Some cranberry pieces will remain.
- Pour soda into a 3-quart punch bowl or beverage dispenser. Stir in cranberry mixture and ice.
- Refrigerate or keep cold until ready to serve
- If you’re not a fan of pulp in your drinks, or want to remove the small cranberry pieces from the punch, pour the heated cranberry mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pushing the mixture through with a spoon. Discard the pulp and pour the smooth liquid into the punch bowl or drink dispenser.
- For festive ice cubes, drop fresh cranberries into the ice cube molds before adding water, then freeze as usual.