Move aside eggnog—there’s a new signature holiday drink gracing our Christmas party this year. One Test Kitchen professional said this Spiced Orange-Bourbon Punch is “a fresh take on the traditional flavors of Christmas.” This punch is ideal to serve for a crowd, so it’s a great option for a holiday dinner or cocktail party. The festive bright color will add a dollop of fun to your bar or serving table on any night, and we love the look of floating fresh fruit to add life to the party. Don’t let the lineup of spices turn you away; in this recipe, all the spices blend together beautifully and do not overpower the drink. Be sure to have some pre-sliced oranges nearby for guests to garnish their drinks. A few tips from the Test Kitchen: Use the freshest orange juice you can find, as it will pay off in this recipe, and don’t forget to add the carbonated ingredients right before serving to keep the bubbles fresh. Bourbon fans will love this light and fizzy drink. You can substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer, but make sure to use freshly squeezed orange juice to correctly balance all of the ingredients.
Spiced Simple Syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole star anise
2 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
3 cups fresh orange juice (from 9 oranges)
1 cup (8 oz.) bourbon
1 (12-oz.) bottle ginger beer
1 (12-oz.) bottle carbonated mineral water
1 navel orange, thinly sliced
Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
How to Make It
Prepare the Spiced Simple Syrup: Combine cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, allspice, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over medium-high, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat; let cool to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids. Chill syrup until ready to use. Syrup can be stored in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.
Prepare the Punch: Place 3⁄4 cup of Spiced Simple Syrup in a pitcher. Add orange juice, bourbon, ginger beer, and carbonated water, and stir to combine. Serve over ice with an orange slice. Garnish with a sprinkle of grated nutmeg, if desired.