Thanksgiving Punch With Rum


Start the holiday festivities off right this year by making a batch of this refreshing Thanksgiving punch.

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

When the holidays come around, there's nothing more essential than a good punch recipe for serving at all the big meals and parties that you're sure to attend (and host). Rum punch is a classic because it's a crowd-pleaser, and this one is easy to make with all the classic fall flavors you'll want.

Read on for all the information you need to make a Thanksgiving rum punch.

Thanksgiving Rum Punch
Hannah Zimmerman/Southern Living

What Is Thanksgiving Rum Punch?

Punches are a broad category of drink; they can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, but they almost always include fruit juice.

For our purposes, a punch is basically a batched cocktail that's great for making ahead of time and serving to large groups of people.

This Thanksgiving punch recipe, made with rum, is strong without tasting like it, an important element for getting any party started, or taking the edge off the stress of a family gathering.

Thanksgiving Punch With Rum
Hannah Zimmerman

Why Should I Make Rum Punch for Thanksgiving?

We like a rum punch for Thanksgiving because it's a little more unexpected than, say, a bourbon punch which feels a little obvious in the autumn. Rum is more celebratory and special, and it also gives you the opportunity to serve a little after dinner bourbon as a digestive, if you want.

But the best thing about rum punch, or really any punch, is that it can be batched and served out of a punch bowl or pitcher, which means you don't have to stir up cocktails for every guest. Instead, they can pour their own beverages, making it easier for you to relax and enjoy your own gathering.

How Do You Make a Rum Punch?

Like any good cocktail, making rum punch is all about balancing flavors. This version starts with an apple cider simple syrup made with honey, cloves, and cinnamon.

simmering Thanksgiving Punch
Hannah Zimmerman

Once infused, cooled, and strained, that syrup is mixed with cranberry juice, spiced rum, more apple cider, and ginger beer.

making punch in a punch bowl
Hannah Zimmerman

We like to serve this drink in a punch bowl, with big squares of ice and plenty of sliced apples and citrus for garnish.

thanksgiving punch with rum
Hannah Zimmerman

Can I Make Rum Punch Ahead of Time?

One of the best things about any punch is that they're easy to prep ahead of time. For this punch, combine all the ingredients except the ginger beer in an airtight container up to two days before your event. When you're ready to serve, simply transfer the mixture to a punch bowl or large pitcher, add the ginger beer and garnishes.

How Should I Serve Rum Punch?

Any punch is great for serving in a big punch bowl, but you don't need to have a fancy, crystal-cut bowl and ladle to create a lovely serving experience. Any nice-looking bowl will do, as will a generous pitcher.

To bring the punch to the next level, make an ice ring by freezing water in a Bundt pan.

Editorial contributions by Maddy Sweitzer-Lamme.


  • cup honey

  • 12 whole cloves

  • 4 cinnamon sticks

  • 8 cups apple cider, divided

  • 4 cups cranberry juice, chilled

  • 3 cups (24 oz.) spiced rum

  • 2 (12-oz.) bottles ginger beer, chilled

  • Sliced green apples, oranges, or lemons, for garnish

  • Rosemary sprig, for garnish


  1. Combine honey, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and 2 cups of the cider in a small saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring often, until honey is dissolved and mixture is fragrant with spices, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat; cool and steep 15 minutes. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks.

  2. Combine spiced cider mixture, cranberry juice, spiced rum, ginger beer, and remaining 6 cups apple cider in a large punch bowl. Garnish with sliced citrus and apples. Serve over ice.

Related Articles