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7 Adult Punch Bowls for Festive Family Gatherings

delicious bowl of holiday punch
Julia Gartland/Food52

We say a room full of relatives warrants a drink or two. And we can’t think of anything more festive than a boozy bowl of holiday punch. It’s a help-yourself option that takes the work off the host, and the edge off awkward next-of-kin encounters.

If you want to host a fabulous holiday gathering, it’s best to give uninhibited access to libations. And the easiest way to do that is with a punch bowl. There’s a reason this retro approach to cocktails is coming back into vogue. It’s easy on the host, appreciated by the guests, and just downright fun to throw together.

Plus, when done right, it looks gorgeous! Decorated with fresh fruit, bright berries, and beautiful ice molds, a punch bowl becomes its own decor. So leave the fancy bar-cart for more intimate gatherings, and put out one of these boozy, holiday punch bowls instead. Trust us: You’ll be so happy you did!

a yummy citrus holiday punch in a large bowl with mint leaves
The Spruce Eats

Champagne Punch: Few things shout festive like bubbly champagne. This works wonderfully for evening events, but it’d be great for brunch, too. The cinnamon simple syrup is completely optional and customizable. Try switching it to ginger or orange if cinnamon isn’t your style.

Get the Recipe: The Spruce Eats

Orange-Cranberry-Pomegranate Punch: With all the expected flavors of the season, this punch bowl is a classic for holiday gatherings. To keep things extra festive, try using ginger ale instead of sprite!

Get the Recipe: Sugar and Soul

Tequila Punch: We highly recommend taking the time to salt the rim of your glasses with this one. Do so, and you’ll essentially have a seasonal take on margaritas. All the traditional sweet and sour flavors are there, while the pop of cranberry juice turns everything pink and festive.

Get the Recipe: The Blond Cook

champagne citrus punch in a bowl loaded with orange slices
Teri Lyn Fisher/Epicurious

French 75 Punch: This recipe uses gin, but feel free to substitute cognac. While gin is more popular at the moment, cognac is the traditional choice. Either way, your friends and family will love this help-yourself take on the classic cocktail.

Get the Recipe: Epicurious

Easy Sparkling Holiday Punch: The name doesn’t lie; this one is a cinch to put together.  It’s also stunning to look at. You’ll need to start the ice molds a few days in advance, but the results are spectacular. Something about star anise and bright cranberries trapped in ice just screams the holidays are here!

Get the Recipe: Food 52

Spiked Pumpkin Punch: We love the way the pumpkin puree turns this punch bowl orange. It’s unique and full of late-fall flavor. Plus, it’s super easy to throw together. But be careful, two cups each of rum and vodka are deceptively hidden underneath all that pumpkin spice.

Get the Recipe: The Real Housemoms

Rum and Egg Nog Punch: For many, it’s not the holidays until they’ve had a glass of egg nog. This particular recipe relies on creamy vanilla ice cream, store-bought eggnog, and plenty of spiced rum. It might be more dessert than a cocktail, but calories don’t count during the holidays anyway, right?

Get the Recipe: Just A Pinch

Lauren Sakiyama Lauren Sakiyama
Lauren Sakiyama is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry. She has managed restaurants, country clubs, and large-scale event operations, but her passion has always been about the food. Read Full Bio »
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