This Make-Ahead Apple Pie Punch Can Easily Serve a Holiday Crowd

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

The holiday season simply isn't complete without a festive cocktail or two. But if you need to serve a crowd, why not make a bowl of punch instead? This apple pie-inspired version yields about 10 to 12 servings. It also encompasses the best flavors of the classic dessert, thanks to a blend of apple cider and apple juice infused with cinnamon.

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This holiday drink recipe also calls for oranges, an ingredient that's commonly used in festive dishes. In this case, orange lends a natural sweetness that wonderfully complements apple cider. The citrus fruit even mimics the lemon juice in actual apple pie filling, ultimately rounding out the flavors.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

What's more, you can make apple pie punch in advance. This can save a lot of time before a gathering, especially if you have other holiday dishes to make. Simply store the punch in the refrigerator in a sealed container, then transfer it into a bowl once your guests arrive.

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To make a non-alcoholic version, replace the alcohol with ginger ale. This combo is particularly tasty and sure to be a hit with kids.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Again, this recipe makes about 10 to 12 drinks, depending on the size of your serving glasses. Read on for the full tutorial, below. Cheers!

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How to Make Apple Pie Punch

Things You'll Need

  • 8 cups (1/2 gallon) apple cider

  • 4 cups apple juice

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup white or brown sugar (optional)

  • 4 cinnamon sticks, plus more for serving

  • 1 orange

  • 1 red apple

  • 1 bottle of dark, gold, or white rum OR ginger ale

  • White sugar and cinnamon, for garnishing

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Feel free to use more sugar or omit it completely. Another option is to let each guest sweeten their own serving.

Step 1

Slice the orange.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 2

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the apple cider, apple juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and four orange slices. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly reduced and the sugar is completely dissolved.

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Remove and discard the orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Let the punch cool for 30 minutes, then chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

If you don't have a pot big enough to heat all of the liquid, you can work in batches or split the ingredients between two separate pots.

Step 3

Just before serving the punch, combine 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon to make cinnamon sugar.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Transfer the cinnamon sugar to a plate. Moisten the rim of each glass with water or apple cider, then dip into the cinnamon sugar to coat.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 5

Repeat with the remaining glasses.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 6

Cut the apple into thin slices.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 7

Transfer the punch into a large bowl, then add six shots of rum (about 1/2 shot for each drink). For a stronger punch, add 10 shots, or about one shot per drink. Alternatively, you can skip this step and let each guest add rum to their own serving or add ginger ale to taste for a non-alcoholic version.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 8

Top the punch with cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and remaining orange slices. You can also add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon for good measure.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 9

Serve each drink with a cinnamon stick, apple slice, and orange slice.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Enjoy!

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