Punch Recipes for Halloween and Fall

- by Selena Ricks-Good

Gather your guests around the punch bowl this fall for easy entertaining. Whether you are hosting a spooky Halloween party or simply celebrating the season, these punch recipes will satisfy your guests without forcing you to stand behind the bar all night.

Consider making your punch a frightful treat by adding an icy hand (made by freezing water inside a clean rubber glove), frozen grapes (look like eyeballs) or gummy worms. Ladle your punch out of a pumpkin, cauldron, or a novelty skull to further impress your guests. And while it's cool to use dry ice for a creepy mist effect, no one should put dry ice in their mouths.

Bloody Red-Rum Sangria
(24 servings)
  • 1 750ml bottle of spiced rum
  • 1/2 bottle Merlot wine
  • 6 oz. lime juice
  • 6 oz. triple sec
  • 6 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 limes sliced into thin wheels
  • 2 blood oranges sliced into thin wheels

Add all ingredients to a large punch bowl and chill at least two hours. Serve over ice in punch glasses.

Ghastly Grape Punch
(8 servings)
  • 1 gallon Concord Grape Juice
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup simple syrup
  • 7 cup vodka

Combine grape juice and spices in a large pot. Bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat and let stand, covered, 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve (discard solids), and chill. To serve, combine with simple syrup and vodka, if using. Serve over ice in a tall glass, and garnish with frozen black grapes or black gummy worms.

Hot Buttered Spiked Cider
(8 servings)
  • 64 oz. (half-gallon) all natural apple cider
  • spiced butter
  • cinnamon sticks (optional)
  • rum or apple brandy
Ingredients for Spiced Butter
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Make spiced butter by combining butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt in a small bowl. Use a plastic spatula to transfer butter mixture to the middle of a 12" x 12" piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic wrap over butter mixture and shape into a log, twisting ends to seal closed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring apple cider to a simmer over medium heat in a large pot, then turn heat to low. Remove spiced butter from plastic wrap and cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to hot cider and stir continuously until all butter is melted.

Ladle buttered cider into mug, garnish with cinnamon stick and top with a shot of rum or apple brandy if desired. Serve hot.

Hendrick's Hot Gin Punch
  • 24 oz. Hendrick's Gin
  • 24 oz. Madeira Wine
  • 6 lemon twists
  • 1 orange slice
  • 3 large chunks pineapple
  • 3 oz. honey
  • 1 oz. lemon juice
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar

Add all the ingredients to a large saucepan over low heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. To serve, pour the hot mixture into a punchbowl or teapot and garnish with orange slices studded with cloves.

Pom-Acai Punch
(multiply recipe by number of servings)
  • 1 1/2 oz. VeeV Acai Spirit
  • 1/2 oz. spiced rum
  • 1 1/2 oz. POM juice
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Lemon wheel and cherry, for garnish

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with the lemon wheel and cherry.