BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa’s Little Helper!

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Discover how to make the BEST Christmas punch for Christmas morning (or night!). This recipe includes both alcohol and non-alcoholic options. You can serve it for your friends for a boozy get-together while also making another batch that kiddos (and anyone not drinking alcohol) can enjoy too.

By the way, if you are looking for another awesome holiday cocktail recipe, you’ll love this Yule Mule, my spin on a Moscow mule. This mulled cranberry mocktail recipe is also fantastic if you are avoiding alcohol.

There are so many things to love about this cocktail. From the bubbles to the citrus and the tangy seasonal cranberry juice, this drink is scrumptious. Add your favorite garnish and pour it in a fancy glass and you have a super-fun drink that is perfect for parties.

collage of how to make the best Christmas punch

Christmas Punch: Santa’s Little Helper

I call this perfect holiday punch recipe ‘Santa’s Little Helper’ for two reasons: one because it’s the name of the scrappy little dog in The Simpsons and I always thought he was cute. The other is because Mama needs some Santa’s Little Helper to get through this massive pile of gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, and halls to deck. 

Personally, I use champagne as the bubbly in the punch but if you’re hoping not to have (double) visions of sugarplums dancing in your head you can substitute Sierra Mist or another lemon/lime soda to make it family-friendly. 

A glass of Christmas punch

Video: How to Make The Best Christmas Punch

If you prefer to learn by watching, then here is a quick video showing you how to make this delicious and festive drink.

How To Make Cranberry Christmas Punch

All of the details are in the printable recipe card a little further down in this post. First, here are some tips and tricks that I learned after making it a few times.

Christmas Punch Ingredients

Here is what I used in my Christmas punch, along with any substitutions you can make.

  • Champagne: If you are making a non-alcoholic mocktail, then use a lemon-lime soda such as Sierra Mist instead.
  • Cranberry Juice Blend: If you use sweetened cranberry juice, you can cut back on how much sugar you add later.
  • Sugar: Try to use super-fine sugar. It blends in better with the rest of the ingreidents.
  • Frozen Lemonade Concentrate: Use pure lemonade concentrate. If you try to use a mixture (like strawberry lemonade) it will alter how the entire drink tastes.
  • Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate: If you can find it, try to use an orange juice concentrate that doesn’t have pulp.
  • Ice: Use as much ice as you want, but remember that it will water it down. If you want to keep it strong, make some cranberry juice ice cubes.
  • Water: Remember that the more water you use, the more diluted the drink will be. You could make this without any water at all if you want a strong and fruity drink.
  • Garnish: Have fun with your garnishes! I used lemon but you could use a sprig of thyme or rosemary and a few cranberries.

Tools and Supplies

This is a cocktail that you stir, so you don’t need any fancy cocktail equipment. All you need is a pitcher and something to stir the ingredients with. You can use a long cocktail stirrer or a wooden spoon.

How to Serve Christmas Punch

There are several ways to serve this delicious punch depending on the size of the crowd and the space you have for serving it. A punch bowl with a ladle is a good bet. I also love beverage dispensers for easy pouring too.

If you do get a dispenser, I recommend one with a stand so there’s room to dispense the punch without hanging the spigot over the edge of the table which might cause spills and drips on your floor. Here are a few of our favorites:

This is the same punch featured in the galvanized beverage dispenser when I shared tips for easy holiday hosting (and the tutorial for the fairy lights!).

Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas Punch

Here are some questions people often ask about how to make this festive punch. If you have an additional question, please leave it in the comments.

How long will this punch last in the refrigerator?

This punch will last up to a week in the refrigerator. However, I would wait until just before serving to add the champagne (or soda) to the rest of the drink.

If you are going to store leftovers, I suggest keeping it in an airtight container. The best containers for drinks like this is a pitcher with a lid or even multiple mason jars that seal tightly. Just keep in mind that the bubbles will deplete very quickly, and this drink is just better with bubbles!

Adding lemon to Christmas punch

What kind of parties can you serve this punch at?

Think Santa’s Little Helper sounds like the perfect Christmas punch recipe? It is! But, it’s also great for baby showers (minus the champagne) and other festive gatherings. The champagne also makes it great for New Year’s parties.

Pouring cranberry juice into a pitcher

How do you make non-alcoholic Christmas punch?

It is really easy to make this punch into a non-alcoholic mocktail. All you have to do is replace the champagne with a lemon-lime drink. The best choices are either Sierra Mist or Sprite.

Pouring Christmas punch in a glass

What is the best kind of glass for Christmas punch?

The best thing about this drink is that you can serve it in any type of glass. I like using a regular drinking glass. It’s super easy and durable.

Cranberry Christmas punch in a glass

What are the best types of garnish for the punch?

Pull out some of the flavors and use them as garnishes. The best types are either lemon or orange slices and some whole cranberries. You can also garnish with springs of either rosemary or thyme.

A glass of Christmas Punch

How many servings does this punch make?

This recipe makes enough to serve a crowd. It will serve at least 8 people but could be more, depending on how full you fill each cup.

A pitcher of Christmas punch

Try this festive punch recipe and let me know what you think!  Will Santa’s Little Helper be YOUR pal this holiday season? 

BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa's Little Helper
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa’s Little Helper!

A delicious blend of juices and a bubbly mixer make this recipe perfectly adaptable as alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and it’s SURE to be the hit of your holiday party, festive gathering or baby shower!
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: beverage
Author: Carrie


  • 1 bottle champagne OR use a lemon-lime soda like Sierra Mist to make it non-alcoholic
  • 1 bottle cranberry juice blend
  • 1 cup sugar try to use superfine sugar if you can find it
  • 1 cup frozen lemonade concentrate thawed
  • 1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate thawed
  • ice
  • water for amount, see below
  • garnishes: lemon slices, cranberries, fresh rosemary sprigs


  • Combine the champagne and the cranberry juice blend. Add the sugar, and stir vigorously until combined.
  • Add the thawed concentrates, stir.
  • If you want a strong punch you can leave as is and just add some ice. You may wish to dilute with up to three cups of water (add water to taste) depending on your personal preference. Remember adding ice will also dilute the punch a bit so don’t go overboard on both ice and water. πŸ™‚
  • Add your garnishes– a bag of fresh cranberries, lemon slices (wash the lemons well if including the peels), perhaps a sprig of fresh rosemary or two for a fresh kick.


You can also make this ahead of time– simply add all ingredients EXCEPT the garnishes and bubbly (either champagne or soda). Refrigerate for a few hours and add the remaining ingredients when guests arrive.Β 
steps for making Christmas punch

More Fun Drink Recipes

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. Enjoy!

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BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa's Little Helper
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  1. When I first saw this on instagram I knew I had to try it! I think I will make a batch for new years. Thanks for sharing!

          1. I loved this Carrie! My Grandmother Grace gave me a similar recipe I’ve used for years. I just found your blog and I love it. I live in Sanford, N.C. but work in Raleigh, so we’re practically neighbors! Thanks for sharing. May I ask what app you used to post hour recipe cards? I’m trying to finish a recipe book for each of my girls. I LOVE how this views and prints. I’m not the most computer savvy but if you recommend it, I’ll give it a go. TIA,

  2. Pingback: Delicious Christmas Menu Recipes + Ideas | Making Lemonade
    1. Wondering how much water, if any. I don’t want it to taste watered down. How much do you personally add?

      1. I like it pretty strong, so I don’t know if I used any. I think I just used ice (but it’s been over a year since I made it, so I could be wrong). I’d make it without water, and then taste it, and if it’s too powerful add a half a cup at a time.

    1. Hi Julie! I can’t remember exactly, but I think it’s quite a bit. I need to whip some up soon to answer that question, actually!

  3. I’m planning to make this for a little party we are having. What is ‘cranberry juice blend’??

    1. If you look in the juice aisle, you’ll find two kinds of cranberry juices: the 100% cranberry juice (pretty tart) or the famous ones like Ocean Spray that are actually blends. You could probably use the 100% juice one but you’d definitely need to adjust the sugar higher. I use an organic version of the Ocean Spray blend. Hope that helps!

  4. This looks delicious. And practical. Because the only way to manage Christmas with some family members is with some “help” from Santa. Can’t wait to make this. Pinning!

    1. HAHAHA! You made me laugh out loud. I love my family, but there is a reason we celebrate Christmas with our best friends instead. πŸ˜‰

    1. I’m not a wine drinker so I can’t say for sure how that would taste. Champagne gives it bubbles and makes it fizzy, which I like. However white wine may make it like a sangria, which isn’t a bad thing!

  5. Sounds yummy! But quick question, when you say a bottle of cranberry what size bottle do you use (ounces)? Thanks!

    1. Gosh, I don’t know the exact size. I use the organic version of the Ocean Spray cranberry juice blend, maybe it’s 64 ounces? I’ll check the next time I’m at the store.

  6. How many servings do you think is? Have a group of ladies over for cookie exchange and wanted to make this! Wasn’t sure if I should double the recipe.

    1. Hi Malorie! I really do need to count the next time I make this. Usually it gets consumed so quickly I have no idea how much it makes.

      It’s also tricky because it depends on how much water you add at the end (if any), and the serving size of the glasses you’re using. If you’re using small punch glasses (about 4oz), I’d say it makes at least 16 servings. But if your glasses are bigger (6 to 8 oz) then it might be less. However, most bottles of champagne have 6 servings, plus the 60 oz or so cranberry juice bottle is about 10 servings plus you’re adding additional ingredients so that’s how I arrived at the number. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Danielle, it’s a little hard for me to judge because it depends on how much water you add at the end (if any), and the serving size of the glasses you’re using. If you’re using small punch glasses (about 4oz), I’d say it makes at least 16 servings. But if your glasses are bigger (6 to 8 oz) then it might be less. However, most bottles of champagne have 6 servings, plus the 60 oz or so cranberry juice bottle is about 10 servings plus you’re adding additional ingredients so that’s how I arrived at the number. It’s terrible but I never counted how many servings, however if you have a crowd there it will be all gone by the end. πŸ™‚

  7. Any chance I can use Prosecco instead of champagne ? this looks so perfectly yummy for my Holiday Party

    1. I haven’t tried it with Prosecco so I can’t be sure, but they’re often used interchangeably so I bet it would taste fine.

      1. I used less Cranapple and prosecco and loved it – you can alter per your taste
        Thank you for posting – this was a huge hit

  8. 5 stars
    This was perfect! I made it last year and I went back to find the recipe to make it again for the holidays! Thank you!!

    1. I can’t remember what I used, but I think any type will do. If you’d like it less sweet, I’d go for extra dry.

  9. How many cans of each frozen concentrate are needed? I haven’t bought it in years and want to make sure I get enough. This looks and sounds delicious. Planning to serve it for Christmas Eve.

  10. When you say champagne do you mean real champagne or sparkling wine like Martini &Rossi Asti?

    1. You can use any type of sparkling beverage. I personally use champagne or prosecco, but any type of sparkling wine would work.

  11. Recipe says “cup” of sugar but for the concentrates it says “c.”…does that mean a can of concentrate or a cup of the concentrate?

    1. If you’re not using champagne, use a bottle of Sierra Mist. If using champagne, skip the Sierra Mist.

  12. Hi, on your Santa’s little helper punch for the frozen lemonade and orange juice does that β€˜c’ mean β€˜can’ or β€˜cup’?? I’m making Thursday-help!!

  13. 5 stars
    I’ve made this punch from your recipe the last two years at Christmas and a for a few other occasions as well. It’s so good and always a hit! I cut the sugar to 1/2 c and added no water, only ice. Have made with both champagne and Sierra Mist – equally good! A big thank you for this one! And Happy Thanksgiving!!

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