30 thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing punch recipes

Fruity, fizzy and fun—what's not to love?

By Kelly Vaughan
Published July 12, 2021 4:22PM (EDT)
 (Julia Gartland / Food52)
(Julia Gartland / Food52)

This story first appeared on Food52, an online community that gives you everything you need for a happier kitchen and home – that means tested recipes, a shop full of beautiful products, a cooking hotline, and everything in between!

When the punch bowl comes out, it's time for a party. Every celebration — from a summer cookout to a winter holiday party — requires a boozy big-batch beverage. So grab a ladle, raise a glass, and drink up! Ahead, we're sharing 30 of our best punch recipes. Some are extremely seasonal, like Apple Rye Punch and a Mulled Wine Punch, whereas others are drinkable 365 days a year. And when you're craving a tropical getaway, we have a drink that will mentally transport you to a cabana somewhere far, far away (looking at you, Pineapple Daiquiri Punch).

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Our Best Punch Recipes

1. Apple Rye Punch

When the leaves start to change but you're not quite ready to drink hot chocolate or straight whiskey by a crackling fire, sip on what we like to call a transitional beverage. For this autumnal punch, mix together regular apple cider with rye whiskey, maple bitters, and hard cider.

2. Spring Sangria With Strawberries And Mint

As soon as the weather warms up outside, this is the only sangria we want to drink. Why? Because it's so dang refreshing! Use your favorite light, dry white wine and mix it with berry-flavored vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup (for sweetness), and sliced berries.

3. Negroni Sbagliato Punch

A twist on the fizzy, festive negroni, this crowd-friendly punch is just as easy to make. Like the original cocktail, this big-batch beverage (try saying that three times fast) is made with equal parts prosecco, Campari, and sweet vermouth.

4. Southern Belle Punch

"Based off of a raspberry-ginger-bourbon drink I had once, this punch balances summer fruitiness with the heft and moodiness of bourbon and Campari," says recipe developer fiveandspice. Grab a seat on a porch swing and sip glass after glass until there's not a drop left in the pitcher.

5. Rosemary Grapefruit Milk Punch

Make-ahead, crowd-friendly, and packed with a beautiful balance of earthy, citrusy flavors, this punch is exactly the drink to serve at your next holiday party. Bring it to the company gathering and you're guaranteed to be named employee of the year.

6. Bowery Punch

This bitter, bubbly punch recipe brings together an Italian aperitivo, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, bitters, and gin. It comes together in a matter of seconds, so that you can start partying.

7. Red Sangria

In our book, the ultimate punch recipe is sangria. Red and white both have their place during happy hour, but right now we're celebrating the robust red. Accent a medium-bodied wine with a few generous splashes of liquor (anything goes, but think triple sec and vodka or brandy), plus a trio of sliced fresh fruit.

8. Limoncello Punch

Take a trip to Italy anywhere in the world with this lemony punch recipe that's one of our best of all time. The base begins not with limoncello (that comes later) but with big scoops of lemon gelato. Top it off with fresh lime juice, pineapple juice, ginger ale, and, yes, limoncello.

9. Glögg (Mulled Wine Punch)

The trick to a flavorful mulled wine has less to do with the type of wine you use (though that is certainly important) and more to do with the variety of herbs, spices, and fruits that you include.

10. Ginger Sangria

This punch recipe is no ordinary punch recipe. It was voted Food52's best summer cocktail by our thirsty readers, who apparently can't get enough of the peach-ginger combination in this white wine sangria. And frankly, neither can we.

11. Mother's Ruin Punch

Inspired by Death & Co., a speakeasy-style cocktail bar in New York City, this gin-based punch also features Champagne, homemade cinnamon-infused vermouth, two kinds of citrus juice, and club soda.

12. Pineapple Daiquiri Punch

All you need is a cheeseburger in paradise as you sip on this pineapple and rum cocktail. Our recipe serves 10 to 15, so we highly recommend sipping on a pontoon boat.

13. Louisa Shafia's Watermelon, Mint and Cider Vinegar Tonic

This mocktail recipe dresses up cider vinegar with honey, watermelon juice, and fresh mint.

14. Pomelder Prosecco Punch

This delightful floral punch pairs prosecco with sparkling pear juice, elderflower liqueur, pomegranate juice, and whole spices.

15. Crimson Bulleit Punch

The mesmerizing, pomegranate-studded ice ring will stop you in your tracks. Pour cranberry pomegranate juice, Champagne, bourbon, and ginger liqueur into a punch bowl with the ice for a festive, self-serve punch.

16. Red Wine Sangria

Hosting the ultimate summer party? Then you need the recipe for the ultimate summer punch: sangria! This basic red wine sangria recipe is plenty fruity, plenty boozy (thanks to cognac and Grand Marnier), and perfect for a crowd.

17. Big Batch Matador

You need only three ingredients to make this punch recipe — white tequila, fresh pineapple juice, and fresh lime juice. The only other things you need are SPF 50 and a big straw hat, because you'll be on island time as soon as you take a sip.

18. "Adult" Shirley Temple Pitcher Cocktail

This punch recipe has the berry flavor and vibrant red color that you love minus the supersweet flavor. You need just three ingredients—berry-flavored vodka, grenadine, and club soda — plus a few thin slices of lemon for a garnish.

19. Rum Punch

Want to go to Aruba? Craving the Caymans? Can't get enough of Curaçao? No matter which island you want to visit, this five-ingredient rum punch recipe will bring you there.

20. Watermelon-Habanero Lemonade

If you think that lemonade is just a little tooooo sweet for your palate, then you've probably never tried adding chile peppers to your drink.

21. Homemade Alcoholic Ginger Beer

One of the most refreshing summer cocktails is the Moscow mule. If you're hosting happy hour and really want to impress your friends, make a batch using homemade alcoholic ginger beer, which you can certainly enjoy on its own, too.

22. Lemonade

Skip the powdery mix or large cartons of supersweet lemonade and make your own homemade lemonade using basic ingredients: lemons (duh), granulated sugar, water, and a pinch of salt. When life gives you lemons...

23. Golden Plum Kir Royale "Bowle," A Fruity Summer Wine Drink

In this variation on a kir royale (the super-classy Champagne cocktail made with crème de cassis), this make-ahead punch recipe starts by soaking plums in sugar and white wine overnight. The next day, ladle the wine into a glass over ice and finish with the black-currant liqueur.

24. Switchel

Switchel equals simple. Trust us! You need only three ingredients (okay, four if you count water) including apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, and fresh ginger to make this revitalizing punch.

25. Papelón Con Limón-Menta

For a make-ahead, crowd-friendly drink, make this limey panela punch. We can't say enough good things about it.

26. Kristin Donnelly's Watermelon Agua Fresca

Sweet juicy watermelon and tart lime juice are a genius, totally timeless pairing. Add a dozen or two drops of bitters into the mixer, which brings out their flavor even more.

27. Whiskey Punch

Consider this your best-ever whiskey lemonade with a little extra sweetness from a honey simple syrup.

28. Limoncello E Pepe

It's not cacio e pepe . . . it's something even more magical! A punch recipe that marries limoncello, a bright and slightly syrupy Italian liqueur, with vodka, sugar, and crushed black peppercorns hits just right on a hot day.

29. Ponche (Mexican Punch)

A stunning assortment of fruit (think: pears, apples, prunes, and raisins) poaches in cinnamon syrup for our version of this modified Mexican ponche recipe.

30. Velour Parkour Punch

"This holiday punch uses flavorful low-proof ingredients — kind of inspired by a spritz — in order to make a punch that is sophisticated, but that you can also drink with impunity," says recipe developer fiveandspice.


Kelly Vaughan

MORE FROM Kelly Vaughan


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