Spiced cranberry cider punch is the perfect fall drink for all of your Thanksgiving festivities.
Over the weekends the temperatures dropped and it finally feels like fall is finally here to stay! I don’t want to jinx it, but I love the cooler weather, especially in the mornings. It was difficult to grasp that Thanksgiving was only a few weeks away when it was so warm out, but now I’m joining the turkey day hype! This spiced cranberry cider punch is perfect for friendsgiving parties and to serve during thanksgiving prep.
The spices and flavors of the cider and cranberry juice are so seasonal and tasty together. One great thing about this punch is that you can customize it and make it your own. You can swap the cranberry juice for pomegranate juice, switch the ginger beer with ginger ale, add rum or leave it out. All of the variations are delicious, and the spiced simple syrup takes each combination to the next level.
With only two and a half weeks until Thanksgiving, I am starting to gather recipes, tips and tricks that I am so excited to share with you. I love that this spiced cranberry cider punch can be spiked or virgin. I sipped on the virgin version of it this weekend as I planned out pretty pies and lovely libations and I can add in the rum while we cook dinner later this week and be perfectly content with both. It is great for kids and adults.
This recipe makes about 4 large drinks, or about 6-8 smaller drinks (all with ice) and can easily be multiplied for a larger crowd. It is perfect for big groups because you can pour it in a punch bowl and let people serve their own drink, instead of being a slave to the bar, when you really want to be attending to the turkey. It is easy, spiced and delicious. You can even make it ahead if you are prepping for the big day, just hold the ginger beer until right before you serve it so it doesn’t go flat.
Grab a glass, pour yourself some punch and let’s begin the Thanksgiving prep!
Spiced Simple Syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks
rind from one orange (optional)
Spiced Cranberry Cider Punch
3 cups apple cider
1 ½ cups cranberry juice (or pomegranate juice)
1 1/3 cup ginger beer
1/3 cup orange juice (optional)
1 cup rum (optional)
2/3 cup spiced simple syrup*
cranberries, for garnish
*If you use pomegranate juice and/or ginger ale, you may want to reduce the amount of spiced simple syrup, since those are both sweeter than the original ingredients.
To make Spiced Simple Syrup
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine all of the simple syrup ingredients. Constantly whisk the mixture until the brown sugar completely dissolves. Let the mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool completely before using. The simple syrup can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days. If you are making it ahead of time, leave the spices and orange rinds in until just before you use it, to get the maximum flavor out of them.
To make the Spiced Cranberry Cider Punch
In a large punch bowl (or mixing bowl), stir all of the ingredients together, adding the ginger beer last. The amount of rum (if any) is up to you – add more or less, depending on how strong you want it. Taste the punch and add more simple syrup, cider, or cranberry juice, depending on how strong your ginger beer is. As noted above, you can swap cranberry juice for pomegranate juice, or use ginger ale instead of ginger beer, but since pomegranate juice and ginger ale are both sweeter than the original ingredients, that variation may require less simple syrup.
I used spiced cider from Trader Joe’s (it is the best!), but if your cider is not already spiced, it might be worth boiling the cider with the spices used in the spiced simple syrup to add even more flavor to your drink.