Cider Punch Cocktail Recipe

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Cider Punch Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Cider Punch is a classic cocktail that has been enjoyed for centuries, especially during the fall and winter months. It is believed to have originated in England, where apple cider has been a popular beverage since the Roman times. The cocktail gained popularity in the United States during the colonial era, and it continues to be a favorite at holiday gatherings and festive occasions.

  • The origins of Cider Punch can be traced back to England
  • It gained popularity in the United States during the colonial era
  • It is a favorite at holiday gatherings and festive occasions

How Cider Punch Tastes?

Cider Punch is a delightful combination of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors. The apple cider provides a natural sweetness, while the lemon juice adds a refreshing tartness. The cinnamon and other spices bring warmth and complexity to the drink, making it perfect for sipping on a chilly evening.

Interesting facts about Cider Punch

  • Cider Punch is often served at holiday gatherings, making it a festive and seasonal cocktail
  • The cocktail can be easily adapted to suit individual tastes by adjusting the spices and sweetness
  • Cider Punch can be served either hot or cold, depending on personal preference


Apple cider

Apple cider is the backbone of this cocktail, providing a sweet, fruit-forward base. Using 750ml strikes the perfect balance between strength and mellow fruitiness. Too little and you'll miss the apple essence; too much and it could become cloyingly sweet.

Emma Rose

Lemon juice

60ml of lemon juice adds the necessary tartness to counterbalance the sweetness, giving your punch a refreshing edge. Skip it, and the cocktail might end up too sweet. Replace it with lime juice for a zesty twist!

Mary Mitkina

Dark rum

180ml of dark rum contributes a robust depth with hints of molasses. It packs a punch, so to speak, and brings warmth to the mix. If you lessen the amount, you might not feel the 'rum' of the punch; overload it, and you'll overshadow the other flavors.

Alex Green


120ml of brandy gives a nod to classic punches with its rich, fruity notes. It's not overpowering but certainly enhances the overall depth. Less brandy could make a softer drink, while more might tip your cocktail into a brandy slump.

Emma Rose

Simple syrup

60ml simple syrup is the sweetener that ties it all together. Without it, you may find your drink lacks that rounded sweetness, although the cider does offer some natural sugar. If you're mindful of sweetness, you could dial it back, or increase it if you've got a sweet tooth.

Mary Mitkina

Cinnamon sticks, Whole cloves, Star anise

2 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, and 2 star anise—the trinity of spice here. They bring a warmth, complexity, and a hint of seasonal nostalgia. No spices, no festive kick; too many and you'll think you've wandered into a spice shop.

Alex Green

Orange, Lemon, and Apple slices

Fruit slices aren't just for show; they add fresh zest and a touch of natural sweetness. They also look pretty, floating in that amber liquid. Without these, you'd lose layers of flavor and visual appeal. More slices equal more fruitiness and fun!

Emma Rose

Ice cubes

Finally, 12 ice cubes to chill. They keep the punch cool and refreshing. If you skip the ice, it could feel like sipping warm fruit soup. Too much ice, though, and you risk watering down the flavors as it melts. Keep it cool, but balanced!

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Cider Punch Drink

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the apple cider, lemon juice, dark rum, brandy, simple syrup, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise
  2. Heat the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm and fragrant (do not boil)
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes
  4. Strain the punch into a large punch bowl or serving container, discarding the spices
  5. Add the orange, lemon, and apple slices to the punch
  6. Serve the Cider Punch over ice in individual glasses, garnished with additional fruit slices and cinnamon sticks if desired

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh apple cider for the best flavor. The quality of your cider will greatly affect the taste of your punch.
  • Don't rush the heating process. Letting the punch heat slowly will allow the flavors to meld together more effectively.
  • Experiment with different types of rum and brandy to find the flavor profile you prefer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platters: A selection of aged cheeses like sharp cheddar or gouda complement the rich apple and spice flavors.
  • Roasted nuts: The sweet and salty flavors of candied or spiced nuts match well with the punch’s warm spices.

Main courses

  • Roasted pork: The sweet and savory elements of roasted pork pair beautifully with the fruity and spiced profile of the cocktail.
  • Thanksgiving turkey: The cider punch's hint of sweetness and spices would be a delightful pairing with turkey and cranberry sauce.


  • Apple pie: A classic pairing— the apple flavors in both the pie and the punch will harmonize wonderfully.
  • Pumpkin spice treats: The cinnamon and star anise in the punch echo the classic pumpkin spice blend.


  • Sparkling water: For guests who are not drinking alcohol, a simple glass of sparkling water with a dash of bitters can cleanse the palate between sips of the punch.

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What you could change in Cider Punch

  • Apple juice can be used in place of apple cider if necessary.
  • Bourbon can be substituted for the dark rum for a different flavor profile.
  • Honey or agave nectar can be used instead of simple syrup for a more natural sweetness.

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And of course - twists🍹

Hot Cider Punch

Replace ice cubes with 500ml of hot water to create a warming, wintery rendition of the punch. The spices will become more pronounced, and there's nothing like a hot drink in cold weather to make your guests feel at home.

Spiced Apple Sparkler

Add a splash of ginger beer and a few dashes of aromatic bitters to the punch after the spices have been removed. This will give the drink a fizzy lift and a spicy kick, perfect for those who enjoy a bit of effervescence in their punch.

Bourbon Berry Cider Punch

Swap out the dark rum and brandy for 300ml of bourbon and add a cup of mixed berries to the mix. The berries add a tart, fresh dimension, and the bourbon introduces an American twist with its sweet, oaky notes.

In case you forgot basics how to make Cider Punch

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Cider Punch

What is the best type of cider to use for a Cider Punch?

The cider you use can greatly affect the taste of your Cider Punch. Therefore, it is recommended you choose high-quality, fresh apple cider. It may make a significant difference.

What type of rum and brandy is best for Cider Punch?

The flavour of the Punch can vary depending on the type of rum and brandy you use. You may want to try different brands to find your preference. Dark rums and rich, full-bodied brandies tend to work well.

Can I prepare Cider Punch in advance of a gathering?

Yes, you can pre-mix everything except the ice. When you're ready to serve, pour it over ice in individual glasses. This also allows the flavors to meld together more effectively.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of Cider Punch?

Yes, simply omit the alcohol for a non-alcoholic version. You can add more cider or juice and extra spices if desired.

What other fruit can I use for garnish in Cider Punch?

While traditional garnishes include orange, lemon and apple slices, you could also use pomegranate seeds, cranberries or fresh mint leaves for a festive touch.

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