An autumn favorite, this sparkling Apple Cider Punch is full of fall flavors, and looks gorgeous for a party! Serve it as-is for the whole family, or add some alcohol to make a boozy version for the adults.
Why You’ll Love This Festive Apple Cider Punch Recipe
Here are a few reasons your guests will rave about this sparkling apple cider punch:
- Easy to Make: This is so easy to make! Just mix everything together, wait a while for the flavors to meld together, and then enjoy.
- Festive: This punch combines the crisp flavor of sweet apple cider with fragrant orange, cinnamon, maple, and rosemary – it’s just so good and looks beautiful as well.
- Customizable: The addition of maple syrup or simple syrup is optional, allowing you to adjust the sweetness to your preference. You can adjust the other ingredients as well, to create the perfect flavor combo.
- Sophisticated: There’s nothing boring about this punch! Kids and grownups alike will appreciate the simple, but sophisticated taste and gorgeous appearance.
- Alcoholic Option: There are a few different ways to spike this punch. Keep reading for all kinds of tips and tricks!
- Make Ahead: The punch can be made in advance and stored for up to three days. This makes it an extra-practical choice for parties or get-togethers.
For a perfect fall beverage that can be served warm or chilled, make sure to try this instant pot pumpkin apple cider! For more boozy fall fun, I highly recommend this foamy apple cider cocktail or easy spiked apple cider.
With all of the big, bold flavors going on here, you might think this would be a complicated recipe… if so, think again! Apple cider punch might just be the easiest thing you make for your party. For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Apple Cider: A quality apple cider makes a big difference, so splurge on a good one! This is sweet, non-alcoholic cider, not hard cider.
- Lemonade: Make your own, or use your favorite store-bought lemonade for extra convenience.
- Orange Juice: Juice with no pulp will make this drink smoother, while orange juice with pulp will add a bit of texture. Use whichever you like!
- Maple Syrup: Adding maple syrup, or simple syrup is optional, but if your juice and cider are on the tart side, it can make the punch taste more balanced.
- Apples: Cored and sliced.
- Orange: Washed but not peeled, and cut into slices.
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Sparkling Water: Sparkling water gives the punch a lovely bubbliness. Sparkling white wine would also be great.
- Ice: For serving.
Is Apple Cider Just Apple Juice and Cinnamon?
Apple cider and apple juice are similar, but they aren’t quite the same. So what’s the difference? You might think it’s cinnamon, but a lot of fresh apple ciders don’t actually contain spices.
Apple cider is basically made by pressing fresh apple ciders, including the pulp, skin, and core. This makes a super-flavorful juice that’s cloudy and rich. Apple juice is made similarly, but it’s filtered to remove all of the solids, giving you a clear juice.
How to Make Apple Cider Punch
Making this apple cider punch is so easy, and you can even do it ahead of time if you like! Here’s how:
- Mix the liquids: In a large pitcher, combine the apple cider, lemonade, orange juice and maple syrup. Stir these until they’re well-combined.
- Add the fruit: Add the apple slices, orange slices, rosemary sprigs, and cinnamon sticks. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to infuse the flavors (or overnight).
- Finish: Combine the infused cider mixture with the sparkling water (or sparkling wine!) and ice before serving. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are some helpful tips for making this punch. Read on, and enjoy your perfect autumn party drink!
- Ice: Since this recipe serves a crowd, I recommend using large cubes of ice to chill it. Larger cubes melt more slowly. You can also add a block of dry ice to make your punch smoke for a spooky halloween twist.
- Make It Boozy: Adding sparkling wine instead of water is a good way to make this drink alcoholic. However, if you’d rather have a hard liquor taste, simply pour a cup or so of your favorite bourbon, brandy, vodka, or rum into your punch before serving. You can also allow guests to add a shot to their individual glass before adding the punch.
- Consider Separating Batches: For kids, designated drivers, and other guests who might be avoiding alcohol, you might want to separate this punch into two bowls – one alcoholic, and one not. Then clearly label them (individual chalkboards are cute for this), and enjoy.
Want some more ideas for serving this refreshing apple cider punch? I’ve got you covered! Here are just a few ideas for starters.
- Spiced Apple Sangria: Turn this simple punch into a gorgeous sangria by using white wine (sparkling or not) instead of water, and adding sliced pears and cranberries for even more fruit. You could also add more whole spices, like cloves and star anise, if you like.
- Caramel Apple Mocktail: Replace the maple syrup with caramel syrup for a bolder taste. You could even consider drizzling caramel sauce inside the glasses before pouring the drinks for extra caramel flavor.
- Cranberry Apple Fizz: Cranberries are another beautiful fall and winter ingredient, so you might want to try jazzing up this punch by replacing the lemonade with cranberry juice (or cranberry juice cocktail) for a tart, complex taste. Throw some fresh cranberries in, too!
How to Store Apple Cider Punch
You can store this punch for up to three days in the fridge, tightly covered. If you’re planning on storing it for a while, you might want to consider straining out the garnishes. If you’re making it ahead, you can wait to add the garnishes until about 2 to 12 hours before you plan to serve it.
Can I Freeze This?
You can freeze any leftover punch, but you’ll want to strain out the garnishes first. Also, keep in mind that the sparkling water or wine will not stay fizzy once frozen and thawed. Still, it will stay safe to drink for a long time, as long as six months or a year, if frozen. You can serve it again by thawing it out, or by making a slushie.
More Fun Party Drinks
- Cranberry Halloween Punch
- Pumpkin Coquito
- White Peach Sangria
- Sparkling Pineapple Punch
- Easy Homemade Eggnog
- Mulled Wine
- Puerto Rican Coquito
Apple Cider Punch
- In a large pitcher, mix together the apple cider, lemonade, orange juice and maple syrup until well combined.
- Add the apple, orange, rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks to the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to infuse the flavors, or overnight.
- Combine the infused cider mixture with the sparkling water (or wine) and ice before serving, enjoy!
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