Super simple to make, super enjoyable to drink, especially over Christmas.
Christmas Cranberry Punch
- 16 cups (4 litres) Cranberry Juice
- 4 cups of Pineapple Juice (or Orange Juice)
- 2 litres of 7-up, Sprite (or what’s on Special)
- Fresh Cranberries, Pineapple &/or Orange Slices for garnish
- In a large punch bowl mix together the pineapple and cranberry juice. Add 7-up or lemon soda. Stir well and garnish with fruit slices and cranberries.
- Refrigerate or serve immediately if all liquids are already cold.
- *** Let sit in refrigerator for a few hours to let the fruit slices add to the punch’s flavor.
- To make it sugar free, use diet versions of the juices and soda. MUCH MUCH better for your health. Your pancreas will be busy enough over Christmas 🙂
This drink actually has a history as fun as the drink itself.
The Punch Chronicles
To unravel the story of Christmas Cranberry Punch, we must first travel back to the early days of the cranberry’s popularity. Native to North America, the early European settlers quickly took a linking to the berry, and cranberries became a cherished ingredient in a variety of dishes.
The Punch Part
As the centuries rolled on and festive celebrations became more elaborate, the concept of punch emerged as a popular way to quench the thirst of merry-makers. The word “punch” itself is believed to have roots in Sanskrit and was later popularized by British sailors who brought the concept back from their travels to the East.
Punches were initially concoctions of five key ingredients: spirits, water, sugar, citrus, and spice. As time progressed, punch recipes evolved to accommodate regional tastes and the availability of ingredients. The addition of fruits like lemons, oranges, and, of course, cranberries, added a refreshing twist to the traditional punch bowl.
The First Mention
The first documented appearance of cranberries in punch recipes dates back to the 19th century. As the popularity of cranberries grew, inventive hosts and hostesses began incorporating the berries into their festive libations. The tartness of cranberries provided a delightful counterpoint to the sweetness of sugar and the kick of spirits.
By the late 1800s, cranberry punches were making a splash at holiday gatherings. These punches, often featuring a mix of cranberries, sugar, and various spirits, became a symbol of conviviality and celebration. The vibrant red hue of the cranberries added a visual flair to the punch bowl, making it an eye-catching centerpiece for holiday parties.
What’s Easy to Make
As the mid-20th century rolled around, convenience became the name of the game in the kitchen. Enter canned cranberry sauce—a culinary innovation that quickly found its way into punch recipes. The sweet and tangy characteristics of canned cranberry sauce added a layer of complexity to punch, making it easier than ever to whip up a festive concoction for holiday gatherings.
Cranberry juice also became a popular addition, offering a convenient way to infuse the punch with the tart flavor of cranberries without the need for labor-intensive preparation. The evolution of convenience foods in the kitchen contributed to the accessibility of cranberry punches, turning them into a staple of holiday celebrations.
In recent years we’ve tweaked and experimented with punch-making. Mixologists and home bartenders alike have embraced the art of crafting unique and flavorful punches, with cranberries once again taking center stage. 😀
Creative additions like sparkling water, ginger beer, and a variety of spirits have elevated the Christmas Cranberry Punch to new heights. The quest for unique flavor profiles and social media worthy presentations has transformed the humble punch bowl into a canvas for mixological masterpieces.