This is my absolute favorite punch, and it is SO easy to make. I will warn you just like I do any of our guests- this stuff is pretty strong, but you might not even know it’s alcoholic by just tasting it. With the equivalent of over an entire bottle of rum, you would think it would be obvious. This stuff just tastes like regular punch!
I make this for almost every holiday get-together, and I hear often that it is dangerously good. We use my two gallon glass dispenser any time that we have friends over- and I have just adapted the punch recipe over the years to make the perfect amount to fill that 2 gallon dispenser. (I linked the one we have below.) Depending on your glass size, this will produce around 25-30 servings. You could easily cut the recipe in half if you have a smaller crowd- but even with a group of 5-6 of us, we always end up drinking it all.
If kids are over, I like to split the punch before adding any rum and make a non-alcoholic pitcher too. If you do this, add just a little less rum (unless you want it even more potent, but trust me- this stuff is way stronger than you think already.)
-64oz cranberry juice (one bottle)
-46oz pineapple juice (one can)
-1/2 can pineapple, cut into rings (you can also use fresh pineapple)
-1 lime, juiced
-1 lime, sliced for garnish
-1/2 bag of frozen cranberries for garnish
-2 tablespoons vanilla
-2 cups coconut rum
-1.5 cups white rum
-2 liters Ginger Ale (we only have cans here in Japan, so I use around 6 cans)
1. Mix all ingredients together and stir
I like to add a sugar rim to my glass and garnish it with a slice of lime.
I won’t keep the description on this one long, because it’s Christmas- and I know you’re after one thing anyway- the recipe.
This is my favorite at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I throw it in a few hours before a get-together, and it not only makes a delicious cider, but it is also a free way to make your house instantly smell like the holidays (everybody always thinks we are baking an apple pie when they walk in.)
Also, here is a secret I learned a few years back:
Purchase cranberries when they go on super sale, usually about a week before Thanksgiving. I bought 6 bags this Thanksgiving for 99 cents each. The cranberries are good for up to around 10 months in the freezer, so I always purchase when they are cheap and store them until I’m ready to use them- usually by Christmas.
In addition, if you make my hard holiday punch (will release my recipe for this soon-it’s pretty darn fabulous) you can use frozen cranberries as a chiller for your punch. Win-win.
So without further adieu, the simplest and most delicious hot cider recipe:
-3 apples, sliced (I like to slice two apples finely, and one in large rings-as seen in photos-to make the cider prettier.)
– 2 oranges, sliced
– 6 oz cranberries (about half of a regular 12oz bag)
– 4 tablespoons cinnamon (plus I typically throw in 1-2 cinnamon sticks)
– 1 teaspoon cloves (you can throw these in for spice, or leave them out)
– 2 cups water
– 3 cups apple juice
1. Put all ingredients into a slow cooker and make sure there is enough liquid inside that the cranberries can be seen floating on the top.
2. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6 hours. Depending on when I need it ready by, I do both. I never cook on high if I am cooking it overnight.
3. Scoop cider directly from crock pot- strain if desired.
I add water or apple juice throughout the day as it depletes, and squish down the fruit a little more each time I do. This recipe fits perfectly in my small crock pot, or the 4qt one. I make a double batch for the bigger crock pot. My small crock pot typically produces 4-6 regular sized mugs of cider.