Thanksgiving Punch

Thanksgiving Punch for the Family
The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Refrigerate: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 30 servings

Make holiday entertaining a little easier by mixing up a flavorful Thanksgiving punch. This non-alcoholic recipe offers a delicious combination of apple cider and blood orange with a delicate sparkle that's very refreshing. The seasonal taste is sure to please everyone and you get the pleasure of mixing it up ahead of time.

The punch's apple cider base is sweetened with a spiced syrup of your choice. Whether you choose a winter spice syrup with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg or a pumpkin spice syrup, it helps marry the cider to the brighter fruits. Much like a sangria, frozen cranberries and slices of apple and orange are added. When you're ready to serve you'll simply pour in the sparkling blood orange and grape juices, which give the punch a wonderful liveliness.

This is a large punch recipe that you can use for any autumn party. It yields about 120 ounces (15 cups) of punch, which is enough for 30 four-ounce servings.


  • 64 ounces apple cider
  • 1 cup spiced syrup
  • 2 cups frozen cranberries (divided)
  • 1 apple (sliced)
  • 1 orange (sliced)
  • 22 ounces sparkling blood orange juice (chilled)
  • 1 (750mL) bottle sparkling grape juice (chilled)
  • Garnish: frozen cranberries
  • Garnish: cinnamon sticks

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients For a Simple Thanksgiving Punch
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. In a large pitcher, combine the apple cider and spiced syrup. Stir well.

    Mixing a Simple and Family-Friendly Thanksgiving Punch
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Add about half of the frozen cranberries and all of the apple and orange slices to the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least three or four hours) to allow the flavors to marry. Keep the remaining cranberries frozen.

    Apple Cider With Cranberries and Apples for Thanksgiving Punch
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. When it's time to serve, add the sweetened apple cider and all of the fruit to a punch bowl. Finish it off with the sparkling blood orange and grape juices. Stir to combine.

    For smaller punch bowls, mix only half of the three liquids in the bowl. Combine the remainder in the apple cider pitcher and store it in the fridge. When the punchbowl needs to be refilled, it will be chilled and ready for you to pour.

    Making a Thanksgiving Punch
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Ladle the punch into individual glasses, adding a few frozen cranberries to each to keep the drinks cold. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick as well.

    Easy Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Punch
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios


  • All of the fruits like to float in liquid, especially the cranberries. By adding the apple and orange slices to the cider last, they'll weigh down the cranberries and ensure their flavor gets into the liquid as well.
  • The frozen cranberries replace the need for ice and prevent dilution. You can also freeze fresh cranberries before making the punch.
  • Sparkling blood orange juice is available from a few companies. San Pellegrino is probably the best known and 11-ounce cans are often available at well-stocked grocery stores.
  • You can purchase a spiced syrup at most supermarkets and the best selection tends to appear in the autumn months. Look for drink syrups in the coffee aisle.
  • It's very easy to make your own spiced syrup. This brown sugar spiced syrup can be customized to suit your taste or enhanced with a pumpkin pie spice mix. You can also go with ginger syrup. Either can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Recipe Variations

  • Use fresh-squeezed orange juice instead of sparkling blood orange. Make up for the lack of carbonation by adding a little club soda or ginger ale to the punch bowl.
  • Sparkling white grape juice can be replaced with ginger ale. A citrus-flavored Italian soda or sparkling water is a good substitute as well.